Carolina Hurricanes Coach Peter Laviolette was named coach of the 2006 U.S. Olympic team that will compete in the Turin Games next February.

Laviolette, a two-time Olympian who captained the squad at the 1994 Games, is 97-94-25 in two-plus seasons as an NHL head coach with Carolina and the New York Islanders.

"We're really pleased to have Peter guiding our Olympic team," Team USA General Manager Don Waddell said. "Peter knows what it takes. He played on our 1988 Olympic team and came back as captain of the 1994 Olympic team. He's coached our last two world championship teams. He's passionate about the game and we're confident he'll do an outstanding job as our head coach."

Laviolette coached the United States to the bronze medal in the 2004 world championships, a finish that earned the Americans a spot in the 2006 Olympics.

He also guided the U.S. team this past spring into the quarterfinals of the world championships, where the Americans lost in a shootout to the Czech Republic.

His other USA Hockey head coaching experience came in the 2003 Deutschland Cup when Laviolette led the national select team to the title in its second year of participation in the tournament.

"To be honest, it's really hard to sum up in words how excited and proud I am to be asked to coach this team," Laviolette said. "We'll have one goal when the Olympics roll around in February and that's to win the gold medal. We have a legitimate chance."

-- From News Services