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Bill Peters plans to set high bar for Hurricanes

Posted June 20

— 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.

13 Comments

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  • tobin63 Jun 21, 5:25 p.m.

    Gunn and Cat -- obviously you guys are great fans and intelligent commentators, and I'll be the first to gleefully chomp a Bill Peters crow sandwich if that time comes, but this just still feels way too much like Muller 2.0 here at the outset. It's not hard to win these press conferences. Every new guy talks about accountability and passion and culture change..and then we go .500 for years on end. I'm usually halfway reasonable and at least cautiously optimistic, but I don't want to hear words like "patience" and "realistic." It's time to make the playoffs RIGHT NOW PERIOD and I felt we needed someone proven who can do that...Trotz or even Torts. I thought they were making a play for Bylsma, but I guess they're too cheap. Peters is a no-name and there is no tangible reason to believe he will excel right now - none whatsoever.

  • jdpridg Jun 21, 10:43 a.m.

    I'm not on the get rid of Eric bandwagon or anyone else for that matter. However a major overhaul is absolutely needed. An overhaul of attitudes, an overhaul of training, an overhaul of aggressiveness, and an complete overhaul of work ethic. If we were a playoff team already, then I'd agree with everyone here. A simple fine tuning would suffice. We are not. Not because of skill, but because of will. Major changes are absolutely necessary.

  • common tater Jun 21, 10:16 a.m.

    Worries me they didn't talk more about defense, but hopefully they can turn things around.

  • Tunaboy Jun 21, 8:12 a.m.

    I really like that Peters is holding the players and the coaching staff responsible and not using a cleaver to fix problems ... the Canes need fine tuning and I believe it will happen ... I want to see them come out on the ice with some fire and spirit and carry the game to the other team for a change and stand up for each other physically when the need arises

  • GunnyGoesBaaaarf Jun 20, 5:36 p.m.

    I like what I see in Peters. I like his plans for the Canes, and I'm optimistic.

    I agree with WLCAT - there will be an adjustment period and both Francis and Peters deserve a chance.

    As for changes in the roster, I don't think Peters would begin his tenure by saying he's going to let the ax fall. I do believe him when he says he's going to hold players accountable. So far, I like this hire, but I know time will tell.

  • wlcat609 Jun 20, 5:13 p.m.

    Tobin63 - please be realistic - there will be a new coach and it will require an adjustment period just as Ron Francis with NO GM experience will require an adjustment period. Try to give both a chance - this could be the start of something really good down the road. Don't expect miracles year one! Hang in there - better hockey is on the horizon!

  • tobin63 Jun 20, 5:03 p.m.

    Who the....? I'm getting tired of no-name assistant/minor league types who will work cheap. Another coach who is totally unproven at this level?! What a gigantic letdown...this fan base is tired of patience and withholding judgement. Obviously I hope I'm wrong, but get ready for another 82 point season. Thud!

  • wlcat609 Jun 20, 5:01 p.m.

    If somehow Ron Francis could acquire the following - Goalie Dustin Tokarski from Montreal, D Jared Spurgeon from Minnesota, and D Jared Cowan from Ottawa, I'll bet Bill Peters would really make things happen - all played for him in Spokane and collectively they were WINNERS! Ron, do your best and please give it a try!!!!!

  • Wags Jun 20, 2:32 p.m.

    I don't think they need a major overhaul either. If he can get Eric, Jordan and Alex's head screwed on straight, we'll be fine.

  • KT slapped y0ur mom Jun 20, 2:26 p.m.

    They're going to have to give him the leeway to bench that princess Eric Staal if he doesn't perform.

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