Staring at yet another head coaching change, there are no shortage of candidates for the Washington Capitals to choose from. NBC hockey analyst and 10-year NHL veteran Anson Carter thinks one big-name option could be a great fit in the District.
“It’s going to come down to money,” Carter told Nick Ashooh on the latest edition of the Capitals Talk podcast. “I think a guy like [former Nashville coach Peter] Laviolette could make sense, he’s a coach that works well in a short window. You saw what he did in Philadelphia quickly, you saw what he did in Nashville quickly. He’s able to go into an organization that has some good quality pieces and get them to where they need to go quickly.”
Laviolette has an extensive coaching resume with the Islanders, Hurricanes, Flyers and Predators over 18 NHL seasons. He won a Stanley Cup in Carolina. Nashville parted ways with him this past January, a short tenure that Carter says has become the norm for him. But Laviolette got the Predators to the Cup Final, too, in 2017.
“Does he have a long shelf life? Probably not,” Carter said. “But I don’t think you’ll see Ovechkin and Backstrom and Oshie and John Carlson playing at a high level for the next 10 years. You want to get the most you can out of these guys for the next three years, so he might be the right guy for that scenario.”
The Capitals fired Todd Reirden after two season behind the bench in Washington, with an impressive 89-46-16 regular season record but a disappointing 4-8 mark in the postseason. Another first-round playoff exit, this one against former coach Barry Trotz and the Islanders, sealed Reirden’s fate with the Caps. He has since taken a job as a defensive assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins.