Laviolette To Return To Carolina Bench Next Season

Peter Laviolette will be back for a fifth season coaching the Carolina Hurricanes.

General manager Jim Rutherford said Friday that the team would retain the coach who in 2006 led the Hurricanes to their only Stanley Cup. Speculation swirled for the past month about Laviolette's future after Carolina missed the playoffs in both seasons after its championship run.

Rutherford said Laviolette met this week with owner Peter Karmanos Jr. as part of the team's standard postseason review, and said the concern about the coach's future "has gotten a little blown out of proportion."

Laviolette has three years remaining on the contract he signed in June 2006. The former New York Islanders coach was hired by Carolina in 2003 and is 155-119-28 in four seasons, winning the Cup in his second season.