Peter Laviolette

Rangers hire Peter Laviolette as next head coach

The Rangers have announced Peter Laviolette as the 37th coach in team history.

Chris Drury said in a statement: “With Peter’s extensive experience as a Head Coach in the National Hockey League, as well as the success his teams have had at several levels throughout his career, we are excited about what the future holds with him leading our team.”


James Dolan said in a statement: “I would like to welcome Peter to the New York Rangers. Peter’s impressive resumé, which includes winning a Stanley Cup and advancing to the Final with three different teams, has made him one of the most respected coaches in the league. As we move forward in our goal to consistently contend for the Stanley Cup, I am confident that Peter is the right head coach to lead our team.

It’s believed to be a three-year deal for Laviolette that is worth just under $5 million per season. (Kaplan, LeBrun)

Laviolette has a career winning percentage of .587 (752-503-25-150) and career playoff winning percentage of .506 (78-76).

Laviolette coached the Capitals for the past three seasons and prior to that coached in Nashville, Philadelphia, Carolina and the Islanders.

He won the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2005-06 and took Philly (2010) and Nashville (2017) to the Stanley Cup Final.

Laviolette coached Chris Drury with Team USA at the 2006 Olympics and was an assistant coach on the 2004 World Cup team that Drury was on.

His only NHL experience as a player came with the Rangers in 1988-89 for 12 games.

Adam Rotter: When Joel Quenneville wasn’t going to be an option and the dream of Mike Sullivan getting out of Pittsburgh unrealistic, Laviolette was the coach that made the most sense.

But why did it take this long? It’s a question that both matters and doesn’t matter. Maybe they were waiting to see who else may shake loose, maybe John Hynes really made them think or maybe this was all just part of the process and after evaluating everyone they finally landed on Laviolette.

Laviolette is experienced and will bring more structure and intensity than the Rangers had the past two seasons under Gerard Gallant. He’s known to be a big motivator and a bit more hands on than Gallant’s mostly hands off approach. He’s not exactly the polar opposite of Gallant, but he is closer to the other end of the coaching spectrum in terms of style and temperament. The Rangers felt like things were a little bit too loose at times under Gallant and Laviolette should tighten things up a little bit.

Laviolette is known to get immediate, or close to immediate results, but regular season recordwise the Rangers don’t need much change, what needs to change is how the Rangers get to that record. They need more structure, need more 5-on-5 scoring and not need Igor Shesterkin to steal wins. They need Igor Shesterkin and they need their PP to win games, but they need to develop a more well rounded game and hopefully Laviolette can bring that. They need to develop more skills, tactics and a style that will be more conducive to winning in the playoffs. They need to be able to win games and score goals without their PP feeling so crucial that when they don’t score on those opportunities it feels like they won’t score at all.

There was appeal to hiring a first time, young head coach and hope that you’ve found your Jon Cooper or Jared Bednar that can be the coach for many years, but the Rangers feel they are in a win now mode and can’t afford to let a rookie coach find his way. But it seems like it came down to Laviolette and Hynes and I think Laviolette is the better choice. Experience isn’t everything, but 20 years as an NHL Head Coach, a Stanley Cup, two other Stanley Cup appearances, coaching in Philly and Washington and a history with guys like Alex Ovechkin, Chris Pronger, Roman Josi, Claude Giroux, among others, just checks off so many of the boxes that come with this job. There is no guarantee that Laviolette will have success or that the Rangers won’t be back doing this in two years,  but he seems best equipped to coach this team. All you can do is find the best available coach that seems equipped to coach the team/roster that you have and Laviolette, to me, is that choice.