A National Hockey League head coach has lost yet another bet to his players and this time around his punishment is getting national attention.
On Saturday night the Nashville Predators faced off against the Edmonton Oilers in the second game of their road trip in Western Canada and unfortunately for the Oilers it did not prove to be much of a contest. The Predators walked into Rogers Place and effectively stomped the Oilers by a score of 3 - 0, the latest in a series of early season disappointments from the Oilers organization. That however was not the story as the Oilers were not the only losers in the building on Saturday night.
Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has built a bit of a reputation for making odd bets with his players, bets that in no way include any type of financial transaction but rather bets that have certain humiliating punishments associated with them for the losing party. For example last season Laviolette lost a bet to his players that resulted in his entire coaching staff having to wear Christmas outfits for the duration of an NHL game, something that resulted in a rather hilarious scene behind the Predators bench. Although the public is very rarely privy to these private bets between coach and players, unless the circumstances of the bet result in a rather public display like the Christmas outfits, they can produce hilarious results and Saturday was one of those cases.
Although we do not know the specific details of this most recent bet what we do know is that Laviolette made a bet with his players regarding the Western Canadian road trip, specifically as it pertains to the degree of success the Predators achieved on the road trip. We don't know what would have happened if the players lost the bet but if the Predators managed to beat the aforementioned Edmonton Oilers as well as the Calgary Flames in back to back games Laviolette would have to wear a mask during his post game interviews.
The players made good on their end of the bargain by beating both teams on back to back nights and Laviolette was spotted after the game wearing a strange bull mask, one that he kept on during all of his media obligations. This of course amused the media in attendance to no end and likely had an even more hilarious impact on the players in the Predators locker room who no doubt got a real thrill out of seeing their head coach in such an embarrassing situation.
To his credit Laviolette took the whole thing in stride and conducted himself extremely well during the interviews in spite of the fact that the bull mask likely made the entire situation incredibly awkward and uncomfortable. I do not mean from a purely emotional point of view either, although that was almost certainly the case, the mask itself also looked to be rather uncomfortable especially if the area in which the interviews were conducted was at all hot or warm.
I look forward to the next bet that spills out into the public domain.