Peter Laviolette

What Peter Laviolette said on Tuesday

The Rangers introduced Peter Laviolette as head coach team and the following was said: (MSG):

Chris Drury Opening Statement: “When I started this process, I wanted to have a very detailed and thorough search, and I’m happy to report that that search led to Peter Laviolette. I truly believe his resume speaks for itself and commands respect on many different levels. It’s my honor and privilege to welcome, honor and introduce New York Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette.

Peter Laviolette Opening Statement: “My wife told me when I came up here to make sure that I smile, I said that I’m not a very good smiler, I said that I frown so much, but I said that I’ll make sure I smile (smiles). I’m thrilled to be here as the coach of the New York Rangers. I understand the history and importance of being able to coach an original six team. We have a really good team and really good players and my staff and I will work tirelessly pushing towards a common goal of bringing a Stanley Cup to New York. I’d like to thank Jim 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. I’m appreciative and excited to be here to be able to coach this team. I want to thank the Rangers for bringing my family up here. 25-years of coaching…so many moves and yet they still came (laugh). It’s really good to have their love and support like I have for so many years. My family went online, I think it was eBay in pursuit of the ever elusive Laviolette 39 jersey. With only 12 games played they had a difficult task and not much luck and they poked some fun at me, they ribbed me a little about only playing 12 games, but I let them know that they couldn’t find the jersey not because I was here for just a minute, it’s just that it was in such demand after being head coach of the Rangers. I’ve never really thought about my 12 games much, I think of myself more as 11-years in the minor leagues and 25-years of coaching. That is 36-years of hockey with just a small bit in the NHL. But this is where my NHL journey started, here in NY and for me to be back here and tell you that it means a lot to me it won’t truly reflect how proud and humbled I am to come back to the City of New York and coach this team.”


  • Laviolette: What was this process like for you, “This is a big job and big opportunity and it should be thorough. The players that are here in place and the team that we have is really exciting and I kind of said it when I first opened up here, to be able to come back to the City of New York and a team like this is really exciting. It’s a good team and good players and to get that opportunity I’m really excited about it. It was a thorough interview process and it should be to be the coach of the New York Rangers.”
  •  Drury: What made Laviolette stand out, “He’s someone that I wanted to talk to right away when the job opened up and as I said, I wanted a detailed, thorough process and as Peter said it’s a big job and important job and as I went through the process it became clear to me that all his attributes as a coach and person made sense for our team.”
  • Laviolette: Do you adapt to players or do the players have to adapt to you, “I think that you always have to adapt and be able to see what you have and where your strengths and weaknesses are and play to that a little bit, but I also have values of what I think is important is regard to a team. The thoughts of how we are going to play and the identity we are going to play with, I have found a lot of times that players can adapt to that. That doesn’t mean that certain situations, opponents or parts of the schedule you don’t make adjustments or changes, but there has to be a clear cut plan on what it is we are doing and it’s my job to communicate that and hold players accountable and sure, there is always a little bit of adjustment and adaptation, but when you can get a team on the same page and to play a brand of hockey that you feel or I feel can be successful, I have found there to be success that follows.”
  • Laviolette: What are your core principles, “For me it’s always been…I have been able to find success or some sort of success with a couple of other teams. Even going back to the Islanders when you didn’t experience ultimate success, but you took a team that hadn’t made the playoffs in a few years and were able to drive them and push them and for me it’s always been a little bit more of an aggressive approach. I think that you have to play good defense and you see that for teams that win Stanley Cups, defense is always a priority and you have to be able to play good in your defensive zone and good defense, but for me it’s about the attack, it’s about pressure and puck pursuit and the battle level and compete level and grit, it’s that grind in the game that makes teams great. You can’t just flip a switch on that, that has to be talked about now, taught in training camp, worked on through the exhibition games and pushed through the entire season. It’s not something you are asking to change or flip a switch to be able to play playoff hockey, it’s so that you have prepared yourself the whole year to play playoff hockey.”
  • Laviolette: What does this team need to do to take the next step, “I grew up in Massachusetts and my parents were blue collar people and worked really hard. I think that when you are around that it becomes generational. If you are observant of it every day on what it takes to be a hard working person, I think there is a lot of skill and talent on this team from the goaltender to the back end to the forwards. We definitely need to embrace that because you find that the teams that go deep into the playoffs and win championships are loaded with skill, that has to be part of it. I’m not talking about, what I’m about to say is not trying to take away from that in any manner, but when you watch the playoff games right now, the final four, the final two it’s just a reminder that the compete inside the game is what makes teams great, it drives them to success. I don’t think that is something you can just ask for, I think you have to practice that on a daily basis, it has to become habit, identity and who you are and it has to start in training camp and be held to a level of accountability and when you have that and you have that skill that is how teams push on and compete for Stanley Cups, win Stanley Cups and become really good hockey teams.”
  • Laviolette: What is the message to the fans about the team they are going to see, “My message, I guess to everybody is let’s go to work, let’s get working. I think that we have really good pieces in place. But to me, it’s about that work ethic that drives teams and so I think that the messaging for me with the players is that we are going to start working in training camp and we are going to take it through the season and try to prepare ourselves for the playoffs and the push.”
  • Laviolette: Can this group play the way you want them to play, “I definitely think it’s a learned habit, but I do 100% think that this can be part of a teams identity. You look at past champions, Tampa Bay won back-to-back and are loaded with talent, but they didn’t win just because of that talent. I think that when you work on the trait and habits of the game that yes, you can be, yes, this team can play this way and that is the objective going into training camp, to push that.”
  • Laviolette: Will you be reaching to to the players, “I just met Adam Fox, so that was cool. I started to make phone calls…like I said, we went through and interview process that…even though it seemed like it was substantial because it was in the newspapers I wasn’t calling players and reaching out and communicating. Since I’ve gotten the job I started to establish lines of communication with the players to just reach out to them and get to know them. I always find that when you are in here before training camp and they are going about training and doing their thing that you are always seeing players and you can chat and you can’t coach them or anything like that, but you can start to establish a line of communication and start to develop relationships with the players and then those relationships build through the course of the year. I have started that, but I’m not there yet, hopefully by the month I’ll reach out to everybody. It’s got to do with staff members as well, staff that is here, staff we are looking for, players that are here and conversations with Chris and the management team. When you come into a new organization it’s a lot of meeting people.”
  • Drury: What goes into a GM/Coach partnership, “I think you said the key word, it’s a partnership and working together and picking his brain on different things already and he’s going to do the same with me on players and different thoughts. I think you’ve got to be on the same page in a lot of different ways. He’s only been officially hired for a week, but it feels like a long time. I was fortunate to play for Peter a long time ago in an Olympics and World Championships and so we have a little bit of history, but it feels like we are in lockstep already in what we want to accomplish and how we want to accomplish it.”
  • Laviolette: How much has it changed for you over your coaching career, “Definitely it’s changed. I spoke with Benoit Allaire yesterday and he was telling me about Jacques Lapierriere and Jacques and I worked together back in Boston under Pat Burns, we were assistant coaches and Jacques was an unbelievable coach. He didn’t want to do a lot with the computer, but he would tell you and show you what you needed to do and how you needed to do it, he was a great communicator, the type of guy that can run practice for hours and never need a drill from anybody, he just had it up in his head and had so much experience. The game has changed and the staffs have gotten bigger and technology has gotten so much better, the game continually changes and you have to continue to change with all of that and be up to speed with all of that and so there has, I think, a lot of change in 25-years in regard to coaching itself, but the game has changed, coaches have changed, staffs have changed. I think there has been significant.”
  • Laviolette: How do you balance trying to win and developing the young players, “I think it’s a really good balance and blend right now. Teams in the past that I’ve found success with have had that balance and blend. I think back to Carolina, there were a lot of young players in place, but there was a lot of good veteran players as well. We had Rod Brind’Amour, Glen Wesley, Bret Hedican, but then there were a lot of young leaders as well, Eric Staal had a 100-point year and Cam Ward was MVP in the playoffs and Justin Williams was a young player. There was a good blend there, same in Nashville. We had Mike Fisher and Shea Weber, quality veteran players, but there were a lot of young players on board like Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm, that blend, again…even in Philly you had Chris Pronger and Timmonen and Lappy was in there, just great veteran forwards and then the young players like Richards and Carter. I think there is always a balance and blend on good teams, those teams can find success and I do think that that personnel is here that can find success.”
  • Laviolette: Do you have a staff in place, “We are working through that right now. That goes back to ‘have you reached out to every player’ and not yet because there seems like there is a lot of things to do during the day and you are in zoom meetings and calls and that sort of thing and just like the players and reaching out to the players, we are working at that right now and when we have that information in place we’ll pass it along.”
  • Laviolette: Do Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere need bigger roles, “I do think, when you are talking about young players, those young players do need an opportunity to grow. They have to be…not given, but they have to be given the opportunity to be counted on more and I think that inside of the framework of a team everybody wants to feel that responsibility and value with what they do and you are talking about a couple of players who are coming off, I think, maybe their best years and they are still young players and there is a growth that goes with that and you’d certainly would like to see them take the next step, more minutes, maybe a little higher up the lineup, maybe more PP time and so with that there has to be opportunity. These conversations will take place, I certainly would like that and those opportunities will be there for them to push.”

Laviolette and Dave Maloney spoke after the press conference and he said (MSG):

  • What intrigues you and what are the challenges for this season, “I’m really excited just to…it starts this summer with phone calls and reaching out to players and communicating, started that process already. For me it starts in training camp . I think that your practice habits daily determine who you are as a team and we need to set a course where we establish a really good identity. We have good players here, really good players, strong in net great defensemen on the back end and a lot of good players up front at forward. I’m excited just to get going in training camp and start that process of who we are going to be and how we are going to play.”
  • What is a Peter Laviolette team like when firing on all cylinders, “I’d like to think that we are hard to play against and that is something we are going to preach right from the start of camp. There is a really good skill level here and I think that skill level is important, I don’t think you win championships without it. We’ll continue to work on that as well, but I also think that you blend in that grind of the game because the grind is what makes you great. It’s so evident in the playoffs you just watched, as you move down to the final four teams, final two teams you have to love the compete. I think that is not something you can flip a switch on, you gotta work on it on a daily basis right from training camp working and competing against each other.”
  • What does it take to win, “It takes a lot, the skill, the grit, but I also think it takes a group of guys that grow together right from training camp. I don’t think you can just come in and flip a switch and say we are going to play some playoff hockey. I think that you gotta have the right pieces in place, you have to have good players and form and identity with your team, work on that identity through the good and bad and ups and down of a season and hitting your stride when the playoffs come around. With that you can win some rounds, hopefully get to the Finals and push yourself to maybe win a Stanley Cup. There is never a guarantee, 32 teams set out to win a Stanley Cup and only one does it, but for me, that is some of the things you have to do in order to be successful.”