When it comes to coaches right now that are available, there is probably no one that has done more than Peter Laviolette. There is nothing that this man hasn’t done but he’s never done it all in the same place. Whether that is because of being brought in late to an aging roster, overachieving with an underdog squad, or just getting great goaltending at the most important time of the year to cover the roster’s weaknesses, it’s just not happened.
To show how experienced Laviolette is, let me put this to you. On four occasions, a team has been down 3-0 in a playoff series and come back to win. Laviolette was one of those coaches with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010. That was the year he dragged the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals and Patrick Kane scored that ghost goal. If Kane was to sign with the Blueshirts next year and he was to be appointed, it would be a strange twist of fate.
Laviolette won the President’s Trophy with the Nashville Predators in 2017. Now, the President’s Trophy winners have not taken home the Stanley Cup since 2013, and not in a full 82-game season since 2008, but it does show that Laviolette can mastermind great regular-season success. Regular season success is not as important as playoff success, but it isn’t meaningless. A bad regular season means no postseason.
As for Laviolette’s playoff success, he was the bench boss for the 2006 Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes. Whether that was a run of luck due to the emergence of a red-hot rookie goalie or it was just a roster that was incredibly well-built is still debated to this day. However, Laviolette has a Stanley Cup ring to his name, even if it was done 17 years ago. He’s been there before.
The system this coach employs does mean that he is not a long-term answer. When it works, Lavi’s teams are solid defensively and they can be difficult to beat. Combine that with the front-end talent he’d be working with and you can see where there would be success. However, it does get stale. Usually, after two or three years, he is looking for a new job because of this. Is it worth the risk?