The two worked together for the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics with Poile as general manager and Laviolette as an assistant coach. Poile was impressed with Laviolette's preparation and game plans and liked Laviolette's experience and motivational abilities.
Yet Poile wanted to do his homework. It was 17 years since he hired a coach and he wanted to get it right. So Poile spoke with some who played for Laviolette with the Carolina Hurricanes, who he coached to the 2006 Stanley Cup, and the Philadelphia Flyers, who he brought to the 2010 Cup Final. Poile spoke to Predators center Matt Cullen, who won the Cup with Laviolette in Carolina.
Poile might have ended his search where he started. The Predators announced Laviolette on Tuesday as the successor to Barry Trotz, who coached the team for its first 15 seasons. Poile, the third-longest tenured general manager in the NHL, said his confidence in the hire was about as high as any decision he had ever made.
"Peter is a very successful coach," Poile said. "Am I glad that we have that an experienced coach who won a Stanley Cup? Yes, sir. That's good. All of the criteria is great. Again, I think I knew all that but I wanted to check it out with other people, other players. Again, I just did my due diligence. This is arguably the most important decision we're making this offseason."