Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Laviolette named Team USA assistant coach, things could get interesting

July 23, 2013

By Nick Tricome

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette will be at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, serving as an assistant coach for Team USA.

Laviolette is from Franklin, Massachusetts and will be heading into his fifth year as the Flyers' coach, after taking over for former coach Scott Stevens during the 2009-10 season.

He was head coach of Team USA in the 2006 Winter Olympics and in the International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship in 2004 and 2005. Laviolette also played for USA in the 1988 and 1994 winter games.

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards and Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato have also been named assistant coaches for Team USA.

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was named head coach of Team USA at the end of June. This could make this team even more interesting to watch when winter rolls around.

The rivalry between the Flyers and the Penguins is one of the more heated ones in hockey and it only seemed to escalate once Laviolette became coach, especially in 2012.

Back on April 1 of that year, Laviolette stood up on top of the boards between the benches of the Consol Energy Center, yelling at Bylsma for sending his checking line out in the final minutes of what would become a 6-4 Flyers' win.

That incident, plus a memorable playoff series that the Flyers won in six games, has kept the rivalry going strong.

Can Laviolette and Bylsma put the past behind them to try and lead America to the gold? Time will tell.

However, it was Granato, who stood between Bylsma and Laviolette during that game in Pittsburgh, that apparently lobbied for Bylsma to add Laviolette to his coaching staff.

The Daily News' Frank Seravalli has more on that, which you can read by clicking here.

(Image from Sports Grid)

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