ARLINGTON, V.A. — In an impromptu locker room ceremony, the Washington Capitals paid tribute to head coach Peter Laviolette on Wednesday for his coaching milestone of 700 career NHL wins.
In a video posted on Twitter, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson held a silver stick for the Capitals bench boss, surprising Laviolette as he walked into the locker room at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
“Lavi, from us on the team we want to congratulate you with the 700 career NHL wins,” Ovechkin said.
Laviolette picked up the stick, taken aback while also citing how heavy the award was.
“It’s unbelievable I wasn’t expecting that. Thank you guys very much,” Laviolette said. “I’ve been really lucky. I’ve worked with a lot of great coaches and a lot of great players. And certainly, get to work with that every day here. So it’s a pleasure to be here with you guys and battle every day, thank you for This. Very nice.”
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Laviolette hit the 700-win mark in a fitting way, capturing that milestone 4-1 victory in Nashville against his former long-time team in the Predators. He became the 10th NHL coach to ever reach the 700-win mark and also tied Mike Babcock for the 10th-most NHL wins by coaches all-time. Earlier in the 2021-22 campaign, Laviolette became the winningest U.S.-born coach in league history.
In 108 games behind the bench for the Capitals after being hired in 2020, Laviolette is 64-30-14 (.657 points percentage). He has coached 1,318 games over 20 years at the NHL level, going 701-455-137 (.593).