USA HOCKEY NAMES LAVIOLETTE HEAD COACH FOR 2006 OLYMPIC TEAM
“We’re really pleased to have Peter guiding our Olympic Team,” said Don Waddell, general manager of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team in making the announcement. “Peter knows what it takes. He played on our 1988 Olympic team and came back as captain of the 1994 Olympic team. He’s coached our last two World Championship teams. He’s passionate about the game and we’re confident he’ll do an outstanding job as our head coach.”
Said Laviolette, “It’s quite an honor to have the opportunity to coach the U.S. Olympic Team. To be honest, it’s really hard to sum up in words how excited and proud I am to be asked to coach this team. We’ll have one goal when the Olympics roll around in February and that’s to win the gold medal. We have a legitimate chance and that’s a credit to the continued development of hockey in the United States thanks largely to the hard work of all the volunteers in USA Hockey’s grassroots programs that give of their time and talents.”
Laviolette is a familiar face behind the bench for the United States in international play. He directed the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship this past May where the U.S. lost out in the quarterfinal round in a shootout to eventual gold medalist Czech Republic. He also served as the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team that won the bronze medal at the 2004 IIHF World Championship, a finish that secured the U.S. a spot in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
In his other stint as a head coach for a USA Hockey team, Laviolette guided the U.S. Men’s National Select Team to the championship of the 2003 Deutschland Cup in Hannover, Germany. Team USA went 3-0-0 and gained its first title in the tournament in just its second year of participation.
Laviolette was also an assistant coach for Team USA’s entry into the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
Laviolette’s full-time job is as head coach of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, a position he was appointed to on Dec. 15, 2003.
He was the head coach of the New York Islanders for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons and led the club to the playoffs both seasons after the team missed the post-season seven straight times between 1994 and 2001. He guided the Islanders’ significant turnaround while posting a 77-68-13-6 regular-season record in 164 games those two seasons, good for a .527 winning percentage.
Prior to joining the Islanders, Laviolette served as an assistant coach with the Boston Bruins after two years of guiding Boston’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Providence Bruins. In 1998-99, Laviolette led Providence to a 56-15-4 regular-season record and a 15-4 playoff record that culminated with Providence hoisting the Calder Cup and Laviolette being named AHL Coach of the Year. He began his coaching career in 1997 as head coach of the East Coast Hockey League’s Wheeling Nailers.
A former defenseman, he spent 11 years as a player in the professional ranks and was a member of the 1988 and 1994 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Teams, serving as captain in 1994.
NOTES: Waddell said he’s working with assistant general manager Paul Holmgren, director of hockey operations Jim Johannson and Laviolette on the remaining coaching positions for the 2006 Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. No timetable has been set for an announcement … Media wishing to attend the Men’s Olympic Orientation Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 6-8, must submit a credential application by Aug. 29 to firstname.lastname@example.org. USA Hockey expects 39 players in attendance at the camp.
PREVIOUS U.S. OLYMPIC MEN’S ICE HOCKEY HEAD COACHES
2002 – Herb Brooks (Silver)
1998 – Ron Wilson
1994 – Tim Taylor
1992 – Dave Peterson
1988 – Dave Peterson
1984 – Lou Vairo
1980 – Herb Brooks (Gold)
1976 – Bob Johnson
1972 – Murray Williamson (Silver)
1968 – Murray Williamson
1964 – Edward Jeremiah
1960 – Jack Riley (Gold)
1956 – John Mariucci (Silver)
1952 – John E. Pleban (Silver)
1948 – John Garrison
1936 – Albert Prettyman (Bronze)
1932 – Alfred Winsor (Silver)