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Blues vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Canes Land New Bench Boss

Friday, 06.20.2014 / 3:15 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Canes Land New Bench Boss
After an extensive and detailed coaching search, the Carolina Hurricanes got their man in Bill Peters.

Michael Smith
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After an extensive and detailed coaching search, the Carolina Hurricanes got their man.

Bill Peters was introduced as the 13th coach in franchise history and fourth since the team arrived in North Carolina in a Friday news conference at PNC Arena.

“Bill was highly sought after, and I’m thrilled he chose to join our organization,” said Canes Executive Vice President and General Manager Ron Francis in an opening statement. “I’m confident we have the right guy to lead the Canes going forward.”

Peters, 48, comes to the Canes after spending three years behind the bench in Detroit as an assistant under Mike Babcock, in which he worked primarily with the defensive and penalty killing units. But that doesn’t mean he’s a stranger to being the bench boss.

Prior to joining Detroit’s staff, Peters served as the head coach of Rockford (American Hockey League), where he guided the team to a 122-97-21 record and two playoff berths over three seasons. Before that, Peters spent three years as the head coach of Spokane (Western Hockey League), where he posted a 111-82-23 record and captured a Memorial Cup title in 2008.

“Bill has been a head coach and a successful one at different levels. He comes from good organizations, and I’m sure as you saw, this is a guy that knows coaching,” Francis said. “We’re very comfortable, even though he hasn’t coached a game as a head coach in the NHL, that he’s going to be very successful at what he does.”

Peters first interviewed with the Canes a month ago in Detroit, when Francis and Assistant General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations Mike Vellucci were in town for a meeting with CEO and Owner Peter Karmanos.

From the get-go, Peters’ preparation and attention to detail impressed the Canes’ executive management.

“When we asked if he had anything for us, he had a booklet that broke everything down,” Francis said. “The next time, he had not only a booklet, but a PowerPoint with it. He’s extremely, extremely detailed. He’s going to communicate with our players, and they’ll know where he stands.”

“I think we developed a pretty good comfort level with myself, Mike Vellucci and Ron,” Peters said of the first interview. “As we went into the second interview, I got to meet a lot more of the management staff. It was very comforting with the communication we had over the past four weeks.”

Peters would interview with two other unnamed teams but ultimately chose Carolina.

“When I did my due diligence … we’re not far off,” Peters said. “I like our depth down the middle, and I think we have a great one pair in (Andrej) Sekera and (Justin) Faulk.”

“I don’t foresee a major makeover. As Bill mentioned, we’ve got some pretty good pieces in place. I know it’s been frustrating that we haven’t made the playoffs in the last five years,” Francis said. “We may do a few things … but we believe we have a pretty good group here that can compete and win, so there’s no real need at this point to make a major overhaul, in my eyes.”

The atmosphere of Raleigh also played a determining factor in Peters’ decision to want to coach the Hurricanes.

“If the reports were accurate, he was a candidate in all markets. We’re very pleased that he chose us and likes our organization,” Francis said. “Part of it, too, is what we have to offer in the city. Raleigh is a great market for families, and he’s a family man.”

“I think my wife and kids are going to be busy entertaining people as we’re busy winning hockey games,” Peters joked.

So, how does Peters plan on winning hockey games?

“The work ethic part of it is not negotiable,” Peters said. “You look around the league at any team that’s any good, they’re some of the hardest working teams in the league. That’s where it starts.”

If the work ethic isn’t there, the playing time won’t be there, either.

“I have the ultimate hammer as the coach, and the hammer is the ice time,” he said. “They all want ice time, they all feel they deserve more ice time, they all want to play in the situations that match their skill set. I’m all for that as long as you’re giving me the things that I need.”

In preparing his project for his second interview with the Hurricanes, Peters said three crucial areas of necessary improvement jumped out to him: the power play, the starts to games and the home record. Fixing those ailments is a process that starts off the ice in training and then on the ice in camp and practices.

“I think the pace of practice is going to be really high, allowing us to play how we practice,” he said.

In the coming weeks and months, Peters will flesh out his coaching staff. Rod Brind’Amour will serve as an assistant coach and will work with one of the specialty teams units.

“Assistants are huge. They work. They’re grinding. They’re bringing me the information,” Peters said. “We’re going to have a good, hard-working staff. We’re going to teach the game and bring people along.

“I want the best coach that’s going to fit,” he continued, mentioning how he had already formed a bond with Brind’Amour. “We started hammering away, right away. He had a flight to catch at noon; otherwise I think we’d still be in the office.”

Though the coaching search has now come to a close, the work continues behind the scenes, as the Canes revamped front office and new head coach continue to prepare for the season ahead. Peters will then make his NHL and Hurricanes head coaching debut behind the bench in October.

“We’re going to set the bar high and give our fans something that they can be proud of and will want to watch each and every night,” he said.




1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31


E. Staal 42 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 47 9 19 -13 28
E. Lindholm 47 9 11 -11 20
J. Tlusty 40 12 7 -11 19
J. Skinner 42 10 9 -7 19
R. Nash 47 7 12 -4 19
N. Gerbe 43 5 13 -3 18
V. Rask 47 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 45 1 14 -6 15
C. Terry 34 6 3 -3 9
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .918 2.30
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45