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Binghamton hockey followers, of course, remember when Peter Laviolette made his mark here

More than half a lifetime before he became Boss of the Blueshirts, a contender to end a thirty-year National Hockey League championship drought, Peter Laviolette left a remarkable mark on Binghamton’s hockey community.

Laviolette, a well-traveled, highly successful coach who this season guided the New York Rangers to the franchise’s first Presidents’ Cup Trophy since 2015, will lead the team in Game 3 of a second-round playoff series against Carolina on Thursday. New York’s 6-0 postseason record is a first for the franchise since winning the Stanley Cup in 1994.

Laviolette played 115 games in the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons for the Binghamton Rangers of the American Hockey League as a determined defenseman who scored 16 goals and 34 assists, but decidedly more in terms of value to the team.

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 04: New York Rangers Head Coach Peter Laviolette handles the bench during the game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on October 4, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey.NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 04: New York Rangers Head Coach Peter Laviolette handles the bench during the game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on October 4, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey.

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 04: New York Rangers Head Coach Peter Laviolette handles the bench during the game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on October 4, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey.

“He was a real competitive guy and a team guy,” said John Paddock, who coached the B-Rangers from 1990-1991. “He was someone who brought the team together in the locker room. He cared about the team and was the leader of our hockey club.”

And more from Paddock on Laviolette, 59-year-old resident of Franklin, Massachusetts: “Fair or unfair, some guys have a vested interest in a team and they’re never going to sit out. That’s how Peter was to us. He was a real leader at our hockey club that year.”

In March 2004, Laviolette joined former Binghamton Whalers forward Bob Sullivan and former Binghamton Whalers/Rangers medical trainer Jon Smith as members of the seventh induction class of the Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame.

“Some places you play, you look back and want to forget it. But I like to think back on my years in Binghamton,” he said at the time. “I enjoyed being a big fish in a small market where the companies and fans are always so supportive.

“…I laughed a lot and had a lot of good times in Binghamton. It’s a privilege that people look back on me and think in that kind of light that they put me in a hall of fame. Any time someone recognizes something you’ve done, it’s special.”

At age 34, he was named head coach of the Bruins’ AHL Providence club and led it to a 56-16-4-4 record in the regular season and an 11-3 mark during the playoffs to the Calder Cup. From there, his coaching resume and reputation continued to blossom during several NHL stints.

More: Game 2 takeaways: Vincent Trocheck wins double OT thriller for Rangers

He guided the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup in 2006 and coached the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010, as well as the Predators in 2017. He is the fourth coach in NHL history to lead three teams to the Stanley Cup Finals.

He currently faces the captain of the 2006 championship team, Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour.

This article originally appeared on Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: Memory Refresher on Peter Laviolette’s Binghamton Hockey Tapes