Introduced as the 17th coach in Flyers history last night, Peter Laviolette said he's here for one reason: To bring the city a hockey championship.
"I understand in Philadelphia there's an expectation here for success," he said. "And I'm going to do my best to fulfill that expectation and bring a Stanley Cup back to Philadelphia."
Laviolette spent parts of five seasons as Carolina's head coach, where he compiled a 167-122-34 record - and led the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Prior to joining Carolina, he was the head coach of the New York Islanders for two seasons, registering a 77-65-25 record and leading the Isles to two playoff berths.
"I'm very excited to be here," Laviolette said. "When you think about the organizations and the jobs you might want, Philadelphia for me is at the top of the list."
Laviolette, 45, who had been doing some hockey commentary, said he wanted to "pay some respect and thank [former coach] John Stevens for everything he did here. We traveled a very similar road through the minor leagues and through coaching in the American Hockey League. I know him as a person and coach."
Laviolette said he had a plan to be successful, and that when it comes "everybody should remember that John Stevens had a hand in the path that it took."
A Florida resident, Laviolette smiled as he said he had to resign as an assistant of his son's peewee hockey team to accept the Flyers' job. He said his son wasn't happy he had to leave to get back to the NHL.
"But it's good because we weren't really getting along," he said. "He was ready to fire me and I was ready to trade him," he said.
Laviolette said he instructed his son to do something a certain way, but was told that the head coach wanted it done differently.
"I said, 'I know what I'm talking about because I've coached some games before.' And he said, yeah, dad, but you got fired" by Carolina last season.
"So I don't have to coach him anymore. I can just be a dad."
General manager Paul Holmgren said Laviolette will bring a more aggressive offensive style to the Flyers, who haven't scored in the last eight periods.
"My thought process is to get some pressure on the puck when you can in the offensive zone, in the neutral zone . . . play a real good defensive game, because if you're giving up goals you can't find the success you're looking for," Laviolette said. "But I know that when you're attacking the offensive zone and the offensive net, you're not playing defense."
Simon Gagne, the Flyers' injured winger, said he received good reports from former Flyer Justin Williams, who played on Carolina's Stanley Cup championship team.
"Justin liked him a lot," Gagne said. "He said he's the kind of guy who, if you work hard, he'll be fair with you."
A native of Franklin, Mass., Laviolette was the head coach of Team USA at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy.
Breakaways. Ray Emery, who has a 4.71 goals-against average in his last four starts, is expected to return to the nets tonight against Washington. . . . Kimmo Timonen, slowed by a broken toe and bad back, did not practice yesterday but should play tonight. . . . About 900 tickets remain for tonight.