Peter Laviolette has officially been named the 37th head coach in NY Rangers history. This became official last Tuesday morning at the Rangers practice facility which is located in Terrytown.
General Manager and President Chris Drury helped Laviolette address the news that he was officially coming back to the Rangers association. He happened to have also made his first and only, appearance in the NHL with the Rangers as a player during the 1988-1989 season. When first welcomed alongside Drury, Laviolette was given a number 39 jersey in honor of his full circle back to the team. He said that his family “poked some fun at [him]” due to the complexity of trying to find a Laviolette 39 jersey. He then proceeded on to say” I let them know that they couldn't find the jersey not because I was here for just a minute, but because it was in such demand."
Laviolette spent most of his professional hockey career playing between the International and American hockey leagues. He has also established himself as a well respected coach in the NHL. He coached the New York Islanders from 2001-03, the Carolina Hurricanes from 2003-09, and led the team to their first and only Stanley Cup in franchise history in 2006, the Philadelphia Flyers from 2009-14, the Nashville Predators from 2014-20, and most recently, the Washington Capitals from 2020-23. During his time he led Carolina, Nashville, and Philadelphia to the Stanley Cup final.
Laviolette says that he “understands the history and importance of being able to coach an Original 6 team.” He also states, “We have a really good team and really good players. My staff and I will work tirelessly, pushing towards a common goal of bringing the Stanley Cup to New York. I'd like to personally thank James Dolan and Chris Drury for this opportunity. This is one of the best franchises in sports and it's in one of the best cities in the world.”
Laviolette also mentions how he has always used more of an aggressive approach to games. He says, “You have to play good defense - you see that with teams that win Stanley Cups. It's always a priority, and you have to be able to play good in your defensive zone, but for me, it's about the attack. It's about puck pressuring, it's about the pursuit, the battle level, the compete level, the grit. It's that grind in the game that makes teams great. You can't just flip a switch on them.” This most definitely appeals to every Rangers fan. It’s no secret that the Rangers did not live up to expectations during this most recent postseason. They could barely move the puck and create offensive opportunities, so Laviolette saying this doesn't only show his gritty attitude towards training, but it also wins the hearts of Rangers fans.
The Rangers were looking for someone that they could rely on to bring a cup to MSG, and they did exactly that. With his extensive history of games in the postseason, experience playing in the organization, and suggestions for a new perspective of training, Laviolette is set up for success with the Rangers.