RALEIGH, N.C. – There’s no doubt about how Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters has gone about his business during his first two seasons – orderly, efficient, and productive.
With the end of the 2015-2016 NHL season officially completed as Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in a 3-1 Game 6 win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, it signaled the beginning of the next campaign.
For Peters and the Hurricanes, it will be an important one.
Not only will the team look to build on a winning season, but one that hopefully gets them into the postseason for the first time since 2009.
As the 2016 NHL Entry Draft approaches and will take place June 24-25 in Buffalo, N.Y., Peters has a lot to look forward to.
He indicated as much in talking with media a few weeks ago about his World Championship gold-medal-winning experience with Team Canada.
During that postseason foray, he led a staff of very capable coaches to work with a talented, young and pliable roster of players.
“Hockey Canada does a great job assembling the team, first and foremost, and then giving you the resources to be successful,” Peters said.
By no means was it a traditionally veteran, star-studded squad, but one that possessed the ability to work hard, particularly in playing the kind of system typical of many NHL teams, including the Hurricanes.
“We had a great experience over there; they put together a very good, young team,” Peters continued.
“It was a great group of guys to work with and a fantastic support staff and coaching staff. Anytime you can surround yourself with that caliber of people, you’re going to get better as a coach.”
While Peter has compiled a 65-72-27 record in his first two seasons with Carolina, the interesting numbers that stand out are that the team hasn’t scored more than 200 goals in a season during that span.
There were marginal gains/losses in goals scored and goals against compared to the 2014-2015 season – 198 goals for compared to 183, and 226 to 219 against the year before.
The team’s system of play has improved to a point that it looks structured and you know who will go where and when.
It has provided a better understanding of how to view Carolina’s game, knowing that the Hurricanes aren’t just cutting ice without a purpose.
However, the call for talent that can fill the net is still on Peters’ list which he alluded to while talking of his World Championship triumph.
“We need some forwards, we need to score,” he said.
“We need to find a way to score on a more consistent basis and score throughout the lineup.”
That will be up to executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis to pull off in trades, free agency, and at the upcoming NHL Draft.
Peters knows that will be the key to success for himself as he heads into his third year and for a team that has been retooling, rebuilding, but not taking the longer, significant strides it’s needed to – not yet anyway.
That time is coming up fast and now ratchets up hopes and expectations even more.
“I’m excited about next year just due to the fact that we have a lot of things going in the right direction,” he said.
“Now it’s about surrounding guys with some quality acquisitions this summer and getting off to a good start.”