It's been 20 years since Peter Laviolette has been behind the bench of a New York based team, however, according to multiple reports, the 58-year-old Franklin, Massachusetts native is closing in on claiming the vacant head coaching job for the NY Rangers.
Laviolette was named the head coach of the NY Islanders for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, taking over from Butch Goring's memorable, yet unsuccessful stint as the bench boss of the Islanders. After missing the playoffs for seven straight seasons, Laviolette led the Islanders back to the playoffs in 2002 following a 96 point season in which the Isles recorded a 42–28–8–4 record and nearlty won the Atlantic Division before losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games of the first round. The following season, the Islanders headed back to the playoffs, however, were dusted by the Ottawa Senators in five games, again in the first round. Following their second first-round exit, Laviolette was controversily fired and Mike Milbury took over head coaching duties.
Since then, Laviolette has been behind the bench of a few teams including the Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators and more recently the Washington Capitals. Laviolette's most successful season came in the 2005-06 season when he led the Hurricanes to their first and only Stanley Cup victory.
Now, according to Sportsnets Elliotte Friedman, it sounds like Laviolette is next in line to be the head coach for the Ranger, and it could happen as soon as next week.
“A lot of people are beginning to lean Laviolette,” Friedman said. “If it is Laviolette, we are going to find out next week. That’s where I sit with the Rangers coaching job.”
Laviolette and the Capitals mutually agreed to part ways following the 2022-23 season as Laviolette is seeking a job where he has the best chance to lead a team to another Stanley Cup. With the window the Capitals are in versus the window the Rangers are in, the move for Laviolette certainly makes sense. For now, no decision has been made but momentum is certainly in Laviolette's corner and he could be officially named within the next few days.