Francis hires Bill Peters as Carolina Hurricanes head coach

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network
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Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network
Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes hired a new head coach on Thursday.

Following a six-week search since relieving prior head coach Kirk Muller of his duties, the team announced via a press release from Ron Francis, executive vice president and general manager, that Bill Peters was named as the franchise’s 13th head coach, and the fourth since the team took to the ice in North Carolina.

Francis will officially introduce Peters to the local media during a news conference on Friday at Noon at PNC Arena.

Peters, 48, served as an assistant coach for the Detroit Red Wings for the past three seasons, working primarily with Detroit’s defensemen and penalty kill units.

Prior to that time, Peters served as head coach of Rockford Ice Hogs of the American Hockey League (AHL), guiding them to consecutive 40-win seasons and Calder Cup playoff appearances in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.

Peters comes to Carolina with past experience in developing young players that have become seasoned NHLer’s.

The Three Hills, Alberta native helped 28 Rockford players reach the NHL during his three seasons there.

Before beginning his AHL coaching career, Peters spent three seasons with Spokane of the Western Hockey League (WHL), leading the Chiefs to the Memorial Cup title in 2008 as champions of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).

Spokane established franchise records with 50 wins and 107 points that season before winning 16 of 21 WHL playoff games to capture the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions.

Peters then guided the Chiefs to four consecutive victories at the Memorial Cup, topping the host Kitchener Rangers 4-1 in the championship game.

That team was led by current Hurricanes forward Drayson Bowman, who played for Peters throughout his tenure leading the team.

In three seasons as Spokane’s head coach, Peters compiled a career WHL regular-season record of 111-82-23.

Peters started his head coaching career with a stint from 2002-2005 as head coach of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns of Canada West University Athletic Associations (CWUAA) of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) where he compiled a 17-59-8 record and one postseason appearance before taking the head position with Spokane.

Prior to that, he served as assistant coach with Spokane for four seasons, helping the Chiefs to a 47-win, 100-point campaign and the WHL Western Conference championship in 1999-2000 under current Red Wings’ head coach Mike Babcock.

Peters comes to Carolina with international head coaching experience with Hockey Canada, capturing the gold medal at the 2008 U-18 Junior World Cup.

That under-18 team included future NHL stars Taylor Hall, Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn, Evander Kane, and Matt Duchene, among others.