April 14, 2023

Capitals, Peter Laviolette part ways after three seasons

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The Washington Capitals and head coach Peter Laviolette have agreed to “mutually part ways,” the team announced Friday.

Laviolette, 58, was in the final season of a three-year deal that paid him $4.9 million annually. He was hired in 2020 to replace coach Todd Reirden.

The Capitals made the playoffs in Laviolette’s first two seasons but failed to advance past the first round. This season was a disappointment for Washington, as it missed the playoffs for just the second time in the past 16 seasons with a 35-37-10 record.

Laviolette had a record of 115-78-27 with the Capitals, the fifth NHL franchise he has coached.

“We are grateful for Peter’s leadership and dedication to our organization for the last three seasons,” general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement. “Peter is a first-class individual who has represented our club with integrity and guided our team through many difficult circumstances in his tenure as our head coach. We wish him all the best moving forward.”

The Capitals are entering an offseason that could feature some significant changes to their roster, with 16 players under contract for 2023-24 and over $8 million in salary-cap space. Team owner Ted Leonsis told ESPN earlier this season that he intends to keep Washington in playoff contention while star captain Alex Ovechkin continues his pursuit of Wayne Gretzky’s NHL goals record. Ovechkin finished the season at 822 goals, within striking distance of Gretzky’s 894-goal total.

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