Former NHLer Ville Leino talks about being punched by Peter Laviolette
Predators coach Peter Laviolette punched Ville Leino in the head when both were with the Flyers. So I asked Leino about it. My column on the NHL coaches “reckoning” and the difficult road ahead. https://t.co/tM8YTlVYl8
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) December 6, 2019
- Leino sat down with ESPN’s, Greg Wyshynski, to discuss an incident that happened with him and current Nashville Predators coach, Peter Laviolette, when the two were together in Philadelphia.
- He talks about the time that he was punched in the head by Laviolette during a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 18, 2011.
- At the time, the punch was dismissed and some media outlets even praised Laviolette, saying that it “lit a fire under the team’s collective ass.”
- Leino doesn’t believe that Laviolette had any malicious intent when he delivered the punch, that it was just a result of emotions running high during a hockey game, but he acknowledged that those acts do not belong in the game.
“There are a lot of emotions in the game. Coaches get fired up and things happen.” Leino told ESPN. “I don’t think Peter tried to hit me, and it looks worse in the video than it was.”
- Leino hadn’t thought about the incident in quite a while, until a friend showed him the video the other day, he recalls Laviolette apologizing for the punch at the time.
“Peter was a very passionate and emotional coach. That made him good, but sometimes stuff like this happened,” he said. “Nevertheless, it shouldn’t happen.”
- Leino also discussed the Mike Babcock situation. Leino spent the first two seasons of his career with Babcock and the Detroit Red Wings.
“Back in the day, almost every coach I played for was doing or saying stuff that’s not appropriate in a normal work environment. It happened every day. It was part of the culture. I guess it was considered normal,” he said. “It’s hard to put the blame on just a few of the coaches or certain moments when it happened. Times have changed, and people have changed.”
- Leino retired from professional hockey in 2017.
- In 286 NHL games, he scored 40 goals, and 119 points.
- Peter Laviolette addressed Wyshynski’s article today regarding Ville Leino as well as a recent allegation made by Daniel Carcillo
Sources & Credits: Greg Wyshynski, ESPN, Trade Rumors