This time next year, Peter Laviolette’s resume might look different and keep him from doing one of his favorite jobs.
He planned to become the head coach for United States Hockey next month in Switzerland at the World Championships, but the tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
His current position is “Father,” trying to convince his daughter Elizabeth, a high school student, that better days in the future as the potential of losing proms, graduations and softball seasons are all very real thanks to viruses.
“This is tragic in his life, but there are many worse things in this world,” Laviolette said by telephone. “This is just a very difficult time. You just pray that many people avoid this and stay safe and hope this passes. He will forget it. He’s a cool-headed kid. He will be fine. “
Laviolette, her daughter, and his wife, Christian, live in their home in the suburbs of Nashville so that Elizabeth can finish her school a year after Laviolette is released from her job of training Nashville coaches in January. His two sons, Peter and Jack, are students and live in Florida family homes while the state continues to be quarantined.
Preparations for the World Championship went well when the tournament was canceled March 21, nine days after the NHL suspended its season.
“This is a bitter reality that must be faced for international ice hockey families,” said IIHF President René Fasel at the time, “but one that we must accept.”
“I have had about a month off since January when I was relieved and then (general manager of US forces) Chris Drury called,” Laviolette said. “I am very happy with this opportunity. We might have four to six phone calls. We started to collect numbers and watch the players and talk about the players when some teams fell farther from the playoff line and only united the general mind. There is really nothing you can write in the pen because you have to wait and see how the season plays but there is a lot of communication between Chris Drury and John Vanbiesbrouck (assistant managing director of the United States Hockey hockey operations) and I am truly grateful for the opportunity and clear disappointed like everyone in the world. “
Twelve months from now, assuming the World Championship returns next year, that might be Laviolette’s work too. That is, if he is not yet behind the bench for the NHL team.
Laviolette has trained five NHL teams, including Flyers from 2009 to 2013, and has a resume that will surely captivate the team that evaluates its coaching staff. This season eight teams made training changes in the season, both for behavioral performance off the ice, and five temporary coaches hired while three made “permanent” changes.
“If I quit my job I would like that opportunity (to train at the World Championships for the fourth time),” Laviolette said. “If I work at NHL, it’s like the players and he goes to see where the team is and where I am with that team. I think representing your country is one of the biggest things you can do in sports. I have been involved with many of them from playing at the Olympics (in 1994) to training at the Olympics (in 2014 as an assistant), training the World Championships (in 2004, 2005 and 2014). One of the funniest tournaments you can do is the Deutschland Cup. A little more relaxed. You brought some players who were already there, some U.S. players. play in Europe, and you put together one team and that’s just a ton of fun. It is a real honor to represent your country and be a part of it. I am truly grateful that I was asked. Whenever I move forward, I’m always here.
“I think everything happened for a reason. If something happens, that’s great. If not, I will follow my children around for another year and become a father and go from there. “
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