The Hurricanes concluded a long coaching search by hiring former Detroit Red Wings assistant Bill Peters on Thursday.
At his introductory press conference with the Raleigh media the following day, Peters, who also has head-coaching experience with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs (2008-11) and WHL’s Spokane Chiefs (2005-08), clearly identified areas to address. Most prominent among those was the power play, which struggled in recent years despite the team’s high-end firepower, a disappointing record at home and sluggish starts to games.
Reports following Peters’ hire suggested that he would enter his first NHL head coaching job with a philosophy that skewed more towards the defensive side. While stressing the importance of taking care of that zone first, he also expressed a willingness to have defensemen join the rush in an effort to create more offense than in seasons past.
“We’re going to play an up-tempo, exciting game that fans in this region are going to enjoy watching,” he said.
Any systematic tweaks implemented by Peters and his staff, which will retain former Carolina captain Rod Brind’Amour and another assistant to be named later, will likely also be seen in Charlotte. Though Checkers coach Jeff Daniels and assistant Geordie Kinnear have had some freedom to install their own nuances in seasons past, the organization typically prefers for both teams to play a similar style in order to ensure that developing players transition seamlessly from team to team.
Daniels, head coach of the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate since 2008, will now have worked under four different NHL coaches, with the Hurricanes employing Peter Laviolette, Paul Maurice, Kirk Muller and now Peters during that time. Peters will be the first to take over the team in the offseason, leaving the two sides to hash things out at development and training camps.
Mentioning former Checkers Ryan Murphy and Elias Lindholm at one point, Peters also offered the following on his philosophy toward younger players developing on the fly in the NHL, something that next year’s Checkers will likely experience. Thanks to a rash of injuries last season, the Red Wings put a number of Grand Rapids Griffins recalls in similar positions.
“Just because you come out of junior or college and start drawing a paycheck doesn’t make you a professional in my opinion,” said Peters. “It’s when you start to eat the nutrition, look after your body and train. That’s what makes you a professional.”
Full CarolinaHurricanes.com video from Peters’ press conference can be seen here: