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January 09, 2015

Laviolette on top of hockey world, looking way down at Flyers

Flyers NHL
Two years after he was kicked to the curb by the Flyers, Peter Laviolette is back on top of the hockey world.

Laviolette, by virtue of his Predators owning the best record in the league at the season’s midway point, was named by the league was one of the head coaches of the NHL All-Star Game later this month in Ohio. Darryl Sutter, as coach of the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings, will direct the other All-Star team.

The All-Star Game will be played Jan. 25 in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Blue Jackets.

Laviolette's Predators have recorded a league-leading points percentage of .725 (27-9-4) and are assured of retaining that top spot through Saturday's games, which marks the midway point of the season.

Sutter will be accompanied by members of his Kings staff, and Laviolette will be assisted by his Nashville colleagues.

Laviolette will be making his second career NHL All-Star appearance, having shared coaching duties with Vancouver's Alain Vigneault for Team Nicklas Lidstrom in their 11-10 win over Team Eric Staal at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh.

He coached the Flyers for parts of five seasons after taking over for John Stevens in Dec. of 2009. He led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals his first season but was never able to repeat that initial success. He was fired after the Flyers opened the 2013-14 season 0-3.

While Laviolette has flourished in this, his first season in Nashville, the Flyers have continued to struggle, with Laviolette’s replacement behind the Flyers bench, Craig Berube, on literal thin ice, according to PhillyVoice’s Matt Mullin.

Reuters contributed to this report.