RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team has signed head coach Bill Peters to a contract extension that will keep him with the franchise through the 2018-19 season.
Peters was named the 13th head coach in the franchise’s history, and only the third head coach in the Carolina era(since 1997) to serve in the position, and he led the team to a 35-31-6 mark last season, the team’s highest points total(86) since the 2010-11 campaign, and a 15 point improvement from the 2014-15 season, which was Peters’ first season as Hurricanes head coach. “You always want to leave something better when you found it. There were a lot of things factored into this decision, but professionally, it’s the right thing for me.” Peters said during today’s news conference at PNC Arena. “When we went through the process a couple of years ago to hire a head coach, we were looking for a guy that shared a vision and passion that we wanted as a management group, and we talked in the initial press conference in changing the culture, and I would reach out to those fans to come back and take a peek, they would be surprised with the progress we made and the direction we’re going in.” Said Francis.
In his two seasons at the helm, the Hurricanes have gone 65-72-27, and the 50-year old Peters is coming off a stint coaching Team Canada at this year’s IIHF World Championships, where he led the squad to it second consecutive gold medal in the event, and prior to that, he served as an assistant coach for the Canadian National Team that captured the gold medal in the Czech Republic. He will serve as an assistant coach for Team Canada in this year’s World Cup of Hockey.
Before taking over as Hurricanes head coach, the Three Hills, Alberta native served as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings for three seasons, and served as a head coach in the American Hockey League with the Rockford IceHogs from 2008-09 through 2010-11, where he coached eight players that went on to win the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010 and 2013 campaigns. Prior to coaching in the AHL level, Peters coached the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League(WHL) for three seasons and guided the team to the Memorial Cup in 2008 as the champions of the Canadian Hockey League.
“We had good conversations, and we talked about and exploring a lot of different things, so we tried to find what I would consider solid ground that’s fair to the organization, and I think we were able to accomplish that and we were fortunate to be able to do that.”