Peter Laviolette has become known among hockey fans for his fiery temper and penchant for aggressive play. This season, Laviolette became just the second U.S.-born coach to win 500 NHL games.
The head coach of the Nashville Predators now has one goal in sight: to bring the Stanley Cup championship to Music City.
Laviolette, who is in his 15th season as an NHL head coach, is no stranger to the ups and downs of the postseason— this marks his ninth Stanley Cup playoff appearance. As his team battles for the Western Conference title against the Anaheim Ducks, here’s more on Laviolette’s current salary and a look back on his coaching career.
1. Laviolette’s Salary Is Reportedly $2 Million
Laviolette became the second head coach in Nashville’s franchise history with a multi-year deal in May 2014. In October 2016, the Predators extended his contract through the 2020-21 season.
The Toronto Sun reports he as well as Alain Vigneault (New York Rangers) earn $2 million annually.
Sportsnet ranked Laviolette’s salary as fifth among all NHL head coaches in 2015, with Mike Babcock ranking No. 1 with a salary of $6.25 million.
2. Laviolette Has Taken 3 Different Teams to the Conference Finals
This postseason Laviolette took his third different NHL team to the conference finals. He’s led Carolina, Philadelphia and now Nashville to deep playoff runs.
“Guys have worked hard to get to this point and just want to keep working hard,” Laviolette told USA Today in a recent interview. “Like I said, I think the most important thing is just keep our head down and keep doing the work.”
Although the head coach hasn’t drawn attention to his postseason success, it’s hard to deny his impressive track record.
Laviolette is just the third coach since 1994 to take three different teams to the conference finals. If the Predators win the Western Conference final over the Anaheim Ducks, he would be the first coach in that time period to take three different teams to the Stanley Cup Final. It would also mark Nashville’s first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history.
3. Laviolette Coached Carolina to a 2006 Stanley Cup Win
Laviolette won the 2006 Stanley Cup with Carolina and led Philadelphia to the finals in 2010. His playoff record is 60-52, including 17-13 in three seasons in Nashville.
The Hurricanes won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history under Laviolette’s watch. He became just the fourth American-born coach to win it. That same year, Laviolette was also the runner-up for the Jack Adams Award for the NHL’s Coach of the Year, which was given to Lindy Ruff.
2006 was an eventful year for Laviolette as he also coached the U.S. men’s Olympic ice hockey team.
4. Laviolette Has Coached 15 Seasons in the NHL
A veteran of 15 seasons with the Islanders, Hurricanes, Flyers and Predators, Laviolette was reportedly paid between $1-$2 million annually with each team, according to Sports Illustrated.
As a head coach, he’s taken two division titles, made nine playoff appearances, and won the coveted Stanley Cup.
However, his hockey career began as a player. A defenseman, Laviolette played collegiate hockey at Westfield State College in Massachusetts and went on to play for various minor league teams. Although he spent the majority of his ten-year career in the AHL and IHL, he played 12 games in the NHL for the New York Rangers during the 1988–89 season. Laviolette also represented the United States in the Olympics twice: in the 1988 and 1994 winter games. He served as captain for the 1994 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team.
Laviolette’s first coaching stint came in 1997 as head coach of the ECHL Wheeling Nailers. He led his team to a 37–24–9 record and a deep playoff run. He left Wheeling after one season for a head coaching job with the Providence Bruins, the Boston Bruins’ AHL affiliate. Laviolette served as coach for two seasons: 1998-99 and 1999-00. Providence posted a 56-15-4 regular-season record in 1998-99 and went 15-4 in the playoffs to win the Calder Cup as the AHL’s top team. Laviolette was also named AHL Coach of the Year.
Laviolette’s success in the AHL helped him land a position as an assistant coach for the Bruins. After one season with the Bruins, he left to take over the head coaching job for the New York Islanders. Prior to his arrival, the Islanders had missed the postseason for seven straight years. Laviolette broke that streak as he led the team to the playoffs in both seasons he was head coach.
Despite leading the team to two playoffs, he was fired in June 2003. Saying the team “came up short,” Islanders General Manager Mike Milbury said he had replaced Laviolette with Steve Stirling, who had coached the team’s AHL affiliate.
Laviolette went on to become the head coach for the Carolina Hurricanes after the firing of Paul Maurice in the 2003-04 season. After five seasons with Carolina, Laviolette was fired as coach of the Hurricanes and replaced by his predecessor Maurice in December 2008.
Laviolette moved into a TV network gig on TSN as a panelist until he rejoined the coaching world a year after his firing. On December 4, 2009, Laviolette replaced John Stevens as the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. After the Flyers dismal 0–3 start to the 2013–14 season, Laviolette was fired in October 2013. However, on May 6, 2014, Laviolette found himself in another head coaching position, this time with the Nashville Predators. He replaced Barry Trotz, the only head coach the franchise had ever known.
5. Laviolette Reportedly Sued Bank of America for Fraud in 2013
Laviolette filed a lawsuit in 2013 that drew some attention from the media. It happened to be the same year he was fired as head coach of the Flyers.
Laviolette sought $3 million in damages, claiming Bank of America convinced him to mortgage his three properties and invest in funds that would increase his family’s assets by $14 million over 30 years, according to a 2013 report by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Laviolette claimed the projections were based on “artificially inflated values.” He also alleged the investments “not only failed to produce the projected high rate of return needed to cover the loan interest, they utterly collapsed, resulting in a loss of the principal investment as well,” according to the Consumerist.
At the time of the lawsuit, Laviolette was head coach of the Flyers, but made the investments when he was still coaching the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.