There will be a new face behind the Nashville Predators bench for the first time in 15 years as the organization announced the hiring of Peter Laviolette as its new head coach.
Laviolette will have big shoes to fill as Barry Trotz, who coached the team since they joined the league, was beloved by both players and fans, but as Mike Fisher admitted sometimes you need a change.
“Barry was an amazing person and coach and I loved playing for him,” said Fisher. “When you miss the playoffs two straight years though you kind of expect some changes in this business.”
Predators general manager admitted the disappointment of missing the post-season two straight years had an impact on his decision to make a coaching change.
Laviolette comes to the Predators with a great deal of experience. Over the course of 12 seasons with three different teams Laviolette has compiled a career coaching record of 389-282-(25)-63 (866 points), and each of the three teams improved exponentially in the first full season after he took the helm.
“I’ve always heard a lot of good things about him as a person and a coach,” said Fisher. “I’m excited. I think it will be a good thing. It’s like starting from scratch and you’ve got to earn playing time and respect from the coach.”
The Predators missed the playoffs by just three points this season and with a solid nucleus of youth and leadership feel they could be on the cusp of something exciting.
“I’m sure that’s one area Peter will want to see some improvement,” said Fisher with a bit of a laugh. “We really want to just improve on what we’ve been building here the last couple years."
While Fisher will enjoy a little time off this summer, he says he’s already looking forward to training camp.