NHL rumors: Peter Laviolette a candidate if Isles fire Jack Capuano

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Peter Laviolette could be a top candidate if Islanders want to make a caoching change. (USATSI)
Peter Laviolette could be a top candidate if Islanders want to make a coaching change. (USATSI)

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The New York Islanders are in the midst of a terrible season and are currently dealing with an eight-game losing streak. That is likely making head coach Jack Capuano's seat quite toasty. According to Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal, if the Isles were to make a move, Peter Laviolette would be a top candidate to replace Capuano.

Laviolette was fired by the Philadelphia Flyers just three games into the season, but is a respected head coach with his name on the Stanley Cup. He also has familiarity with the organization as the Islanders gave him his first head coaching job in 2001-02. He helped guide the team to the playoffs in each of his two seasons with the club.

The Islanders came into this year with high expectations, having made the playoffs last season. Capuano may have been riding the good graces of getting the team back to the postseason even amid early-season struggles. That said, this eight-game skid could rapidly change things.

With a big name like Laviolette free to be hired, it may add a little urgency as Botta suggested in his tweet.

There are other coaches on the hot seat as well around the league and few candidates that can match Laviolette's experience and level of success out there. He has been an NHL head coach for parts of 12 seasons and in addition to guiding the Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup, Laviolette also took the Flyers to the 2010 Cup Final.

Capuano is in his fourth season in the NHL as a head coach. He has compiled a 92-99-33 record behind the Islanders' bench. This season, the Isles are 8-16-5, which is good for last place in the Metropolitan Division.

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