With a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators last week, Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette became just the 10th coach in NHL history to earn his 700th career win.
His squad commemorated the accomplishment after practice on Wednesday by gifting their coach a silver stick. Team captain Alex Ovechkin did the honors of handing Laviolette the trinket, saying, “Lavy, from us on the team, we want to congratulate you for the 700 career NHL wins.”
Laviolette stepped up to accept the award and gave thanks to his players, who outdueled his former side in Nashville for win No. 700.
“I can’t believe how heavy this is. That’s unbelievable, I wasn’t expecting that,” Laviolette said to a laugh. “Thank you guys very much. I’ve been really lucky — I’ve worked with a lot of great coaches and a lot of great players. Certainly, I get to work with that every day here so it’s a pleasure to be here with you guys and battle every day. Thank you for this, very nice.”
The team posed for a photo in the locker room to remember the occasion, with Ovechkin saying, “Say chili!”
Washington earned Laviolette win No. 701 two nights later with a 5-3 victory in Philadelphia, earning the coach the sole spot at No. 9 all time among NHL coaching victories, surpassing Mike Babcock. He can earn his 702nd career win on Thursday when the Capitals play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Former Capitals Stanley Cup winner Barry Trotz is the winningest active head coach with 896 career victories. Nine-time Cup winner Scotty Bowman is far and away the all-time leader with 1,244 wins to his name over almost four decades of work.