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Correction: Peter Laviolette had a 248-143-60 record as coach of the Predators. Nashville plays the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.
The Predators have a game Tuesday night against the Bruins, but they don't have a coach.
The team announced Monday evening that it had fired head coach Peter Laviolette, along with associate coach Kevin McCarthy, just four days after general manager David Poile told 104.5-FM he wasn't "contemplating making any coaches changes at this time."
“Under the leadership of Peter and Kevin, our organization reached unprecedented heights – from our franchise-altering run to the Stanley Cup Final to a Presidents’ Trophy and our first two Central Division titles,” general manager David Poile said in a statement. “Their passion for the game, ability to motivate a team and drive to be the best makes this a difficult decision. On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Peter and Kevin for all their contributions to the Nashville Predators over the past five-and-a-half seasons.”
Predators President and CEO Sean Henry also commented in the statement.
“On and off the ice, the Laviolette and McCarthy families have left an indelible mark on the entire Smashville community,” Henry said. “While Peter and Kevin worked to make our team on the ice one of the elite, their wives, Kristen and Rhonda, spearheaded countless charitable endeavors to Nashville that made a lasting impact, changed lives, and for which we owe them a debt of gratitude.”
Laviolette had been the Predators coach since 2014-15 season and compiled a 248-143-60 record in Nashville, which included a run to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.
The Predators (19-15-7) currently sit in second-to-last place in the Central Division midway through the season.
Laviolette said in late November he wasn't feeling any pressure from upper management about his job status, despite the Predators' record. He reiterated that Friday in Los Angeles, when he told the Tennessean he felt pressure from himself amid his team's struggles during the first half of the season.
Predators forward Craig Smith was critical of the team's system after Sunday's loss to the Ducks in Anaheim, saying players needed to stop overthinking.
"Sometimes maybe we overthink our system and play a little (lax) and sit back on our heels," Smith said. "In the third (period Sunday) I think we just said ... let's get after it a little bit. Read and react. Just play hockey, making hockey plays. That's what we did.
"You could see, it looked like we were playing a little bit faster, a little bit more tenacious on pucks, seeing the ice a little bit better. It came a little more natural than sitting back on our heels."
Laviolette, the second coach in Predators history, is the sixth coach to be fired this season and the first Poile has fired midseason in more than 25 years.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville Predators fire coach Peter Laviolette
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