Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette addressed the accusations that he sent his players to fight and once hit the head of former Philadelphia Flyers striker Ville Leivo, saying that both "could not be further of the truth,quot;.
The first accusation came from former NHLer Daniel Carcillo, who has been speaking amid accusations of abuse by different coaches throughout the NHL. In an interview on a radio show called The Neutral Zone on Wednesday, Carcillo talked about playing under Laviolette with the Flyers and said the coach used to send players to fight.
"I mean, he was fine," Carcillo told The Neutral Zone of Laviolette. "There were a lot of things that bothered me about him. He was one of the guys who liked to be the guy & # 39; rah rah & # 39 ;, sent you to fight when you know he never fought."
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Laviolette denied Carcillo's accusation, saying he likes his teams to play a competitive and physical style of hockey, but he never went so far as to encourage the fight.
"First it was a suggestion from Daniel Carcillo that I used my position of power inside a locker room to intimidate or ask players or challenge them to go out and fight. That could not be further from the truth," Laviolette said in a statement, according to Adam Vingan of The Athletic . "Do I want my teams to play hard? Yes. Do I want them to be physical? Yes. Are there fights in the game? Yes. But there is a hint that I would challenge players to go out and do that. That's not true. "
On Friday, an ESPN article appeared regarding a different incident in which Laviolette allegedly hit former Flyers striker Ville Leino in February 2011. A video clip of the incident resurfaced on social media on Tuesday in response to the Carcillo's transcript of the Chicago Blackhawks defender. Brent Sopel's claims against Marc Crawford.
Leino addressed the incident in the article and told writer Greg Wyshynski that he didn't think it was intentional and that Laviolette had apologized.
"There are many emotions in the game. Coaches get excited and things happen," Leino told ESPN. "I don't think Peter tried to hit me, and it looks worse than it was."
Laviolette added in his statement that he did not intentionally hit Leino and that the video was not what it seems.
"Secondly, an article came out (on Friday) that caught my attention about hitting Ville Leino in the head. In the area of where we are now in today's world with respect to coaches, I can tell you that the abuse physical of me is the furthest thing from the truth " Laviolette added in her statement. "That video clip of Ville Leino and the GIF that shows me hitting his helmet and his helmet moving again and again, you can interpret it in many different ways. For me, I had called a timeout. I was trying to motivate my team , and I went to hit my fist with my hand. I hit the back of his helmet, and it was by no means a physical abuse, nor have I had any physical abuse with the players.
"For a long time, I thought it was fun to see the GIF play again and again, knowing that it could not be the furthest from the truth. Now that I have heard that there is an article that is being talked about, and it is as if they had grouped me with what is happening, I just wanted to get ahead of that. Ville Leino said I apologized to him. I don't even remember addressing him. If I did, that's great, because it was something that was accidental at the time I missed my hand and I cut off his helmet.
But I just wanted to get in front of these things, because both statements are incorrect. "
During his 18-year career with Predators, Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders, Laviolette has published a record of head coach of 630-420-121.