Nashville Fires Both Two Coaches
The Nashville Predators made a shocking move last Monday after relieving both head coach Peter Laviolette and assistant coach Kevin McCarthy. The two coaches led the team to an impressive run during their stint.
The coaching duo seemed to have a great run since coaching the team back in 2015. They led the team to 248 wins and made the Predators the sixth-most winning team in the NHL in that span.
In the 2014-15 season, the team improved their record by a margin of nine wins and 16 points in the NHL table. Laviolette and his coaching staff represented the Predators in the All-Star Game as the team led the league in point percentage by the season’s half with a .725 percentage while hoisting a 27-9-4 season.
Laviolette himself nearly bagged the Coach of the Year award in the league in the same season. He was one of the finalists for the Jack Adams Award.
In 2017, the club sat at the bottom in the conference, but Laviolette led the team to climb back and qualify for the Stanley Cup Final. The league adopted the conference based format back in 1994, and that worked well for the team as they became the third club that sat at the bottom of their conference to reach the final.
That was the team’s first Stanley Cup Final since the club played in the NHL back in 1998.
The team came up with a 53-18-11 record worth 117 points back in the 2017-18 season. That was the best record in franchise history, and they capped that off with a Presidents’ trophy and a Central Division title. The team then made it two in a row by claiming the Division crown last season.
Predators GM David Poile came up with a statement regarding the situation.
‘Under the leadership of Peter and Kevin, our organization reached unprecedented heights - from our franchise-altering run to the Stanley Cup Final to a Presidents' Trophy and our first two Central Division titles’, Poile said. ‘Their passion for the game, ability to motivate a team and drive to be the best makes this a difficult decision. On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Peter and Kevin for all their contributions to the Nashville Predators over the past five-and-a-half seasons’.
‘On and off the ice, the Laviolette and McCarthy families have left an indelible mark on the entire Smashville community’, Predators President and CEO Sean Henry said. ‘While Peter and Kevin worked to make our team on the ice one of the elite, their wives, Kristen and Rhonda, spearheaded countless charitable endeavours to Nashville that made a lasting impact, changed lives, and for which we owe them a debt of gratitude’.
At this point in the season, the team had a poor record as they sank down just one more spot at the bottom of the Central Division. The team’s poor start this season was most likely the reason why the two coaches were removed from the team.
Team forward Craig Smith had to convince his team to stop panicking after suffering a tough loss to the Anaheim Ducks as they lacked the offensive output in that game.
‘Sometimes maybe we overthink our system and play a little (lax) and sit back on our heels', Smith said. 'In the third, I think we just said, “let's get after it a little bit. Read and react. Just play hockey, making hockey plays”, That's what we did’.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores