Sports Outside the Beltway

Carolina Hurricanes fire coach Peter Laviolette

The man who led the team to the 2006 Stanley Cup Championship, will be replaced by his predecessor, Paul Maurice.

The Carolina Hurricanes have fired coach Peter Laviolette, who led the team to the 2006 Stanley Cup championship.

The team has called a press conference at 11:30 a.m. to announce the coaching change.

Laviolette was in his fifth season with the team and this season became the winningest U.S-born NHL coach. But the Hurricanes missed the playoffs the last two seasons and are 12-11-2 this season after Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

In a strange turn, The Sports Network is reporting that the Canes will replace Laviolette with his predecessor, Paul Maurice.

ESPN is also reporting Maurice, who last coached in Toronto, will be taking over in Carolina.

Luke Decock writes-

The news that the Hurricanes have called a press conference this morning to announce a coaching change comes as no surprise to anyone who watched this team play this season.

With each passing game, it was becoming clear that Peter Laviolette no longer possessed the ability to get this team to play hard on a regular, consistent basis. It’s also possible that wasn’t his fault.

He wasn’t given the most talented roster in the NHL to start with, and injuries and poor performances left him with a shell of even that. It’s entirely possible no coach could have been able — or will be able — to get more out of this roster.

But in the end, Laviolette paid the price for a string of home losses — three in a row, and a 6-7-0 home record — that highlighted this team’s most critical failing:

Whether to start games (the Hurricanes have given up the first goal in 10 straight games) or to end them (the late collapses against Los Angeles, Edmonton and Washington), there was no way of telling how hard the Canes were willing to play on any particular night.

I see the same thing with the Florida Panthers on a regular basis.

One last note on Laviolette- He is the winningest US born coach in NHL history.

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