Peter Laviolette brings on former Islanders captain Michael Peca as Rangers assistant coach

Michael Peca Rangers
Madison Square Garden
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Twenty-one years after dragging the Islanders out of one of the darkest times in franchise history, Peter Laviolette and Michael Peca are reuniting across town with the Rangers.

Per multiple reports, Peca is joining Laviolette’s staff with the Blueshirts as an assistant coach. Laviolette was introduced as the 37th head coach in Rangers franchise history on Tuesday

Peca, 49, has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabers AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans, as an assistant coach — his rise throughout the professional coaching ranks receiving a sizable boost with the Rangers calling.

Peter Laviolette
Peter LavioletteNick Faria – AMNY

He spent two of his three seasons with the Islanders playing under Laviolette, who received his first-ever head-coaching gig with the team beginning in the 2001-02 season. 

With Peca as his captain, Laviolette helped the Islanders make the playoffs in his debut campaign for the first time in seven years while averaging just 23 wins per season during that stretch. After adding the likes of Peca, Chris Osgood, and Alexei Yashin, the Islanders own 42 games before losing in the first round to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was in that series that Peca tore his left ACL after a cheap shot from Darcy Tucker, ultimately altering his playing career. 

After averaging 22 goals per season from 1996-2002, including 25 in 2001-02 with the Islanders after being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres, just eight goals over the following six years — two with the Islanders before quick stops with the Edmonton Oilers, Maple Leafs, and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Despite making the playoffs the following season, but losing in the first round again, Laviolette was dismissed by the Islanders despite being considered one of the top young coaching talents in the NHL. 

He went on to win the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and a pair of conference titles with the Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators. 

For more on the Rangers, Peter Laviolette, and Michael Peca visit AMNY.com