Laviolette officially hired as Capitals' head coach

There's a new bench boss in D.C. Good choice? Was anyone really hoping for Babcock?

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The Washington Capitals have officially hired former Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette to take over for Todd Reirden, who was dismissed last month.

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Laviolette brings nearly two decades of NHL head coaching experience to the role. The Capitals' ownership group stressed that experience was something they felt was lacking under Reirden, a rookie NHL head coach. The 55 year old Laviolette has a career coaching record of 637-425-123, which ranks him second all-time in wins amongst U.S. born coaches, behind only John Tortorella. He has led his team to a Stanley Cup Final three times and won a Stanley Cup championship in 2006 with the Hurricanes.

Laviolette coached teams typically play a strong defensive game with an emphasis on breaking up plays in the neutral zone and creating offensive opportunities on turnovers. He's known as a "no nonsense" type coach who manages to get the most out of his players. In particular, he's the type of guy you bring in when you want to get results in a short period of time. Don't be surprised if the Capitals make a surge in the standings next season under Laviolette, he's made a career off of it.

"I'm thankful and excited for the opportunity to lead this hockey club," said Laviolette in a prepared statement on the Capitals' official website. "This is a winning organization with high expectations. I look forward to coaching this tremendous group of players and bringing my experience and vision to the team."