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Laviolette fired as Predators coach, replaced by Hynes

Nashville has lost four of five, 11th in Western Conference @NHLdotcom

Peter Laviolette was fired as coach of the Nashville Predators on Monday.

Former New Jersey Devils coach John Hynes was named to replace him on Tuesday, when he will coach his first game for the Predators, against the Boston Bruins at Bridgestone Arena (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-TN, NESN, NHL.TV).

Associate coach Kevin McCarthy was also fired.

"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," Predators general manager David 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."

Video: NHL Tonight on the Predators' coaching change

The decision comes less than a week after Poile said he was not "contemplating making any coaching change at this time" during an interview by the Midday 180 Show on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville.

"Time is running out," goalie Pekka Rinne said. "You've got to change the way you do things. I think just the bottom line is enough talking. We've got to start playing."

Hynes was 150-159-45 in five seasons with the Devils and was the fifth longest-tenured coach in the NHL since he was hired June 2, 2015 when he was fired by New Jersey on Dec. 3, exactly 11 months after it signed him to a new multiyear contract. 

Laviolette spent the past six seasons as coach of the Predators, going 248-143-60 in 451 regular-season games and helping them advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in their history in 2017, when they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.

"Obviously I think it was a shock to everyone," Predators captain Roman Josi said. "It's always sad to see guys like [Laviolette] and [McCarthy] go. They're great coaches but they're great people too, so I think you build a relationship with them over the years. I think they took this organization and this team to new heights over the past couple years. I think that's why you take a lot of responsibility."

Laviolette is 637-425-123 with 25 ties in 18 NHL seasons with the Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders. He won the Stanley Cup as coach of the Hurricanes in 2006 and advanced to the Cup Final with the Flyers in 2010, losing in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Video: Friedman talks Predators' coaching change

Nashville (19-15-7), which lost 5-4 in a shootout to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, is 1-3-1 in its past five games, four points behind the Calgary Flames for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. The Predators are 11th in the conference standings.

"Ultimately you can't blame anything on the coach necessarily," forward Filip Forsberg said. "It's the easiest way, but you can't kick all 25 of us. It's easier to kick one guy. Ultimately we have to take ownership of what we did as players, and ultimately that wasn't good enough. That's the way it works."

It is the sixth coaching change in the NHL this season. Peter DeBoer was fired by the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 11 (replaced by Bob Boughner), Jim Montgomery by the Dallas Stars on Dec. 10 (Rick Bowness), Hynes by the Devils (Alain Nasreddine), and Mike Babcock by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 20 (Sheldon Keefe). Bill Peters resigned as Calgary Flames coach Nov. 29 (Geoff Ward). independent correspondent Robby Stanley contributed to this story

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