COLORADO SPRINGS, USA – Peter Laviolette has been named head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team that will participate in the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship it was announced today by USA Hockey. The event will take place in Minsk, Belarus, May 9-25. Team USA is the defending bronze medalist in the event.
Laviolette has previously represented the United States in international competition on numerous occasions in several different capacities. He most recently served as an assistant coach for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team in Sochi, Russia, and was the head coach of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team in Turin, Italy. Prior to that, Laviolette was head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team at the IIHF Men's World Championship in back-to-back years (2004, 2005), leading the United States to the bronze medal in 2004.
He also served as an assistant coach for the United States during the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, where he helped Team USA to the semi-finals.
Laviolette, who led the Carolina Hurricanes to the 2006 Stanley Cup, has more than 750 games of NHL head coaching experience. From 2009-13, he directed the Philadelphia Flyers, reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2010 and winning the Atlantic Division in 2011. Laviolette was behind the Carolina bench from 2003-08. In addition to winning the Cup in 2005-06, Carolina won the Southeast Division title and set franchise records for wins (52) and points (112). Also that season, Laviolette was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach. His first two seasons as head coach in the NHL were with the New York Islanders (2001-03), where he helped the team advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs each season.
Before becoming an NHL head coach, Laviolette spent three seasons in the Boston Bruins organization, serving as assistant coach with the NHL club in 2000-01, and as head coach of the Bruins’ American Hockey League affiliate, Providence, for two seasons (1998-99, 1999-2000). In his first year at Providence, Laviolette guided the team to a Calder Cup championship and received the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL Coach of the Year.
As a player, Laviolette skated for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team in both the 1988 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games, serving as captain during the 1994 tournament. He also spent 11 years in professional hockey, including a 12-game stint with the New York Rangers in 1988-89.
As a collegian, Laviolette played four seasons (1982-86) at Westfield State College in Massachusetts, where he appeared in 93 games and contributed 43 goals and 44 assists.
Sacco, Housley and Granato named assistant coaches
Joe Sacco is serving as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men's National Team for the third time (2009, 2010). A year ago, he was head coach of the U.S. squad that won the bronze medal at the 2013 IIHF Men's World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden, and Helsinki, Finland. Sacco is an assistant coach for the Buffalo Sabres.
Phil Housley is serving as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team for the second year in a row and third time overall (2011). Last year, he helped Team USA win the bronze medal at the 2013 IIHF Men's World Championship. Housley was the head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team that won the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. Currently, Housley is an assistant coach for the Nashville Predators.
Don Granato will serve as an assistant coach on his first U.S. Men's National Team. Granato is currently in his third season as a head coach for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. He directed the U.S. National Under-17 Team in 2013-14. Last season, he led the U.S. National Under-18 Team to the silver medal at the 2013 IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship. Additionally, he will be an assistant coach for the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team.
USA Hockey also announced that Bob Webster (USA Hockey) will serve as team leader, Lawrence Feloney (Nashville Predators) will serve as the video coordinator, and Mark DePasquale (Calgary Flames) and Scott Aldrich (USA Hockey) will handle equipment manager duties. Additionally, Tim Macre (Buffalo Sabres) and Stan Wong (USA Hockey) will serve as athletic trainers; Dr. Ron Royce will be the team physician; Pee Wee Willmann will serve as massage therapist; and Matt Trevor (USA Hockey) will handle communications.
The staff and players of the 2014 U.S. Men's National Team are selected by the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group, led by Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. Other members, all affiliated with National Hockey League teams, include Stan Bowman (Chicago), Brian Burke (Calgary), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles), David Poile (Nashville), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh), Dale Tallon (Florida), and Don Waddell (Pittsburgh). Tom Kurvers (Tampa Bay) will be part of the advisory group for this year's championship.
– with files from USA Hockey