Bill Peters plans to set high bar for Hurricanes
Posted June 20
Raleigh, N.C. — New Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters has been on the job for less than 24 hours, but he said Friday during an introductory news conference that he's been thinking about ways to fix the team since late May.
Peters, who comes to Raleigh after serving as an assistant for the Detroit Red Wings for the last three seasons, did two projects on the Hurricanes while preparing for interviews with General Manager Ron Francis and other members of the front office.
His assessment of a team that he said was "not far off" from making the playoffs included three main points
"We're going to fix our power play. We have enough skill to have a good power play. We're going to fix our starts to games. If you're playing from behind in the NHL, and you're anybody but the Los Angeles Kings, you're losing. You have to get out of the gate on time," he said. "And we have to improve our home record. We have to become a harder team to play against here in Raleigh."
The 2013-14 Hurricanes finished 10 points out a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They were 18-17-6 at PNC Arena and 18-18-5 on the road. On the power play, the Hurricanes managed 41 goals all season, the 25th-best mark in the NHL.
Carolina was outscored by 21 goals in the first period of games, and in games they trailed after 20 minutes, the Hurricanes were 7-20-2.
Peters said Friday that he expects to build a consistent contender in Raleigh by improving the team's work ethic and holding players accountable with ice time.
"We're not far off. I like our depth down the middle. I think we have a great (defensive) one pair in Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk," he said. "If we can fix our power play and get our starts better, we'll be a better team. There are a lot of pieces here, and it's up to the coaching staff to max our guys out."
One member of Peters' staff will be Rod Brind'Amour. The two met prior to Friday's news conference, and Peters said there is an active search ongoing for a second assistant.
"We're going to have a good staff. We're going to teach, we're going to bring people along," he said. "We have some young pros, but they have to develop while they are here. They are not finished products. We've got one opening. I want the best coach that is going to fit."
Peters and his staff will likely enter the 2014-15 season with the same core group of players that finished the 2013-14 season, Francis said.
"I don't foresee a major makeover," Francis said of the roster. "We've got some pretty good pieces in place. We just finished outside by 10 points. That's one win a month. We may do a few things, but we believe we have a pretty good group. There is no need to make a major overhaul in my eyes."
Francis cited Peters' experience as a head coach in the Western Hockey League and American Hockey League as one factor in him being a highly sought-after coach.
"I'm thrilled he chose to join our organization. I'm confident we have the right person to lead the Hurricanes going forward. He is organized, detailed, demands accountability and a high compete level from his players," Francis said. "He's also a good communicator and teacher."
Francis said he and his staff interviewed 10 candidates during the six-week-long coaching search that began following the May 5 firing of Kirk Muller. The "short list" was pared to three after the initial interviews, and it culminated with Peters' hire on Thursday.
Peters said he interviewed for three vacant positions before arriving in Raleigh with the Hurricanes.