1. Peter Laviolette
If the Sharks decide to go with the experienced coach option, Peter Laviolette should be their first choice.
Laviolette has about 18 seasons of NHL head-coaching experience. Over those 18 seasons, he has coached four different teams – coaching them all to the playoffs at least once, including three Stanley Cup Finals appearances, one of which was a Stanley Cup victory in 2005-06 with the Carolina Hurricanes.
The New York Islanders gave Laviolette his NHL head coaching start in 2001-02. He would coach the team for two seasons, going 77-62-19-6 in 164 games, attaining 54.6 percent of the Isles’ total possible points.
Laviolette would move on to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2003-04 and coach them for the better part of five seasons. Over those five seasons, Laviolette coached 323 games in which the Canes went 167-122-6-28, gathering 57 percent of their total possible points.
During his tenure with Carolina, the team also won a Stanley Cup in 2005-06. This Cup was won in a seven-game series against the Edmonton Oilers.
After being relieved of his duties by the Hurricanes in 2008-09, the Philadephia Flyers hired Laviolette as bench boss in 2009-10. This season saw the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Finals but ultimately miss out on the Cup to the Chicago Blackhawks in a six-game series.
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In around five seasons with the Flyers, Laviolette coached 272 games, having Philly go 145-98-29, claiming 58.6% of their total possible points.
After an 0-3-0 start to the 2013-14 season, the Flyers relieved Laviolette of his duties. The Nashville Predators would hire Laviolette as their bench boss the next season.
Laviolette has coached the Predators for the better part of the past six seasons. In this time he has coached 451 games with a record of 248-143-60, good enough for 61.6 percent of the Preds’ total possible points.
All five of Laviolette’s full seasons with Nashville saw them make the post-season, including a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2016-17 in which they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.
Overall, Laviolette has coached in over 1,200 games, won over 600 games, and attained over 58 percent of his total possible points. Laviolette’s coaching abilities have seemed to have gotten better with age as his teams’ point percentages have increased with every new team.
With Laviolette’s amount of experience and success as an NHL head coach, he’s my number one choice for the San Jose Sharks to hire if they decided not to retain Bob Boughner as head coach.