Though he’ll have to wait for his next opportunity in the NHL, Peter Laviolette will be back behind a bench this spring. Laviolette has been named head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team that will take part in the IIHF World Championship. The tournament will be held in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland between May 8-24. Chris Drury, the team’s general manager, released a short statement on the hiring:
It’s great to have Peter as our head coach. He brings significant international experience, both as a player and a coach, and his passion and desire to win align with our goal of bringing home the gold medal.
The ironic part about this appointment is that many believed John Hynes to be a candidate for the job, before he was hired to replace Laviolette with the Nashville Predators. It also represents a different voice than Jeff Blashill, who had led the team the last three years.
Laviolette isn’t new to the international scene, having served as head coach of the World Championship entry three times previously and acting as an assistant coach at both the Olympics and World Cup. He’ll try to take Team USA to the gold for the first time since 1960.