A little more than a year after being fired by the Canes, Peter Laviolette is back in the NHL, coaching the Philadelphia Flyers.
And while Laviolette is in the Eastern Conference, while the Canes still have two games left with the Flyers, the players -- and Canes coach Paul Maurice -- seem happy to see him back behind the bench in the league, and with Kevin McCarthy as his assistant coach.
"Absolutely, for himself and for Kevin McCarthy," defenseman Tim Gleason said. "I know it's huge for him because I know he was hungry to get back on the bench. That's where he belongs. That's where he wakes up every day wanting to be.
"I'm happy for both those guys. I was kind of wondering why it was taking Lavy a bit longer to get back in the game because I know he was missing it. He's a talented coach and he's a players' coach."
Laviolette, who guided the Canes to the 2006 Stanley Cup, was fired in early December 2008. He was replaced by Maurice, the coach Laviolette replaced at Carolina in December 2003.
McCarthy remained as an assistant coach for Maurice but was used as more of an observer during games, relaying information from his perch high above the arena. Always popular with the players and coaching staff, McCarthy had expressed frustration with his lesser role and said he one day hoped to get back behind the bench.
"There's only two or three guys out there left who have had any kind of playoff experience," Maurice said. "It's kind of like of being a captain of one of those super-tankers. There's only a handful of people who have done it and have experience in it. If you're going to turn a ship like that over to somebody, you want to turn it over to someone who has had some experience.
"For the most part, by the time you get to the National Hockey League, if you've had any kind of success, you've proven that you can run a ship. And most of it then is timing. Your personality, your style, is it the right thing for the right team at that time?
"I think he will do a great job there. I think it's great that Kevin McCarthy got back on the bench. He's one of the truly good men in the sport."
Laviolette in the last year has been a guest television analyst for Versus and TSN from time to tim. The head coach for Team USA in the 2006 Winter Olympics, he more recently coached the U.S. Men's Select Team in the Deutschland Cup in Munich.
"I saw him a couple of times (on TV) and it just didn't seem like him," Gleason said, smiling. "He is a people person but we usually saw him in a different manner.
"It's a great opportunity for him and (McCarthy). I'm sure they'll do well."
Winger Sergei Samsonov was a player who got a second chance under Laviolette after being waived by the Chicago Blackhawks in January 2008. Samsonov was able to resurrect his career with the Canes.
"I'm happy for him and think he deserves it," Samsonov said. "He's a terrific coach and proved it by winning the Stanley Cup here. Now it's nice to see he gets another chance with a solid organization."