USA Hockey announced today that Lavs will join Dan Bylsma (head coach) and Tony Granato on the coaching staff of Team USA in Sochi next winter:
USA Hockey announced today that Philadelphia Flyers head coach and Franklin, Mass., native Peter Laviolette will serve as an assistant coach for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team alongside Todd Richards (Crystal, Minn./Columbus Blue Jackets) and Tony Granato (Downers Grove, Ill./Pittsburgh Penguins).
Interestingly, sources close to the situation say it was Granato who helped lobby on Laviolette’s behalf to Bylsma. Granato has been Bylsma’s assistant since 2009. Apparently, Granato’s message to Bylsma was that him and Laviolette are coaches with a similar, burning passion. They’re more alike than they probably realize.
“I know Tony from way back,” Laviolette said on Feb. 21. “You want to write a sentimental story today? I’m going to pass on the sentiment today and focus on how we can take care of the Penguins tonight. Tony and I are good friends. Time passes on and you lose touch a little bit with friends, but, Tony’s a good guy.”
I, for one, would totally be willing to forgo seeing an American gold medal in exchange for an intra-coach fight.