The Nashville Predators have made their biggest move in nearly a decade as David Poile has decided to fire Peter Laviolette and Kevin McCarthy from the team.

This from the Preds announcement on their website:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/GM David Poile announced Monday that the team has relieved Head Coach Peter Laviolette and Associate Coach Kevin McCarthy of their coaching responsibilities.

“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,” Poile said. “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.”

The release went on to discuss the various accomplishments of Laviolette and his staff. Interestingly, the Predators have not named an interim coach in the meantime. I reached out to the Preds’ public relations team for a response and have not heard back as of this posting.

While Peter Laviolette’s influence on the Nashville Predators franchise cannot be ignored, it was clear that David Poile simply could not afford to ignore the struggles of the team anymore.

David Poile makes his move

This move is all about David Poile taking control of the franchise that he’s worked so hard to build since taking over in 1997. While Laviolette and his staff did a lot to bring the team to an elite level following Barry Trotz’s departure in 2014, it was clear that the process and system that Laviolette has stuck to over the years simply wasn’t working any more.

In short, it was time for a change.

After signing multiple large contracts, including Matt Duchene, Roman Josi, Kyle Turris, and Ryan Johansen over the last two years, David Poile was not about to let his hard work go to waste. He knows this is the team’s window to win a Stanley Cup.

And since it was increasingly clear that Laviolette wasn’t going to be able to get them back to an elite team, a change was needed. The team didn’t look anything like a Cup contending team since a hot start in October. The playoffs look like a lost cause at this point, though we saw what can happen to a team that fires its coach mid-season with last year’s St. Louis Blues doing so in December and then winning the Stanley Cup in June.

Will the Nashville Predators have a similar fate this year? Only time will tell. But for now, this feels like the right move.

— Featured image via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports —

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