The Bill Peters era with the Carolina Hurricanes is over.
Peters, who succeeded Kirk Muller as head coach in 2014 and was the first (and, as it turns out, only) major hire of former GM Ron Francis, resigned his position on Friday. He is likely to return to his home province of Alberta, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie among others are reporting that the Calgary Flames are looking to hire Peters as the replacement for the fired Glen Gulutzan.
In a statement released by the team, Peters expressed his appreciation for his time with the Hurricanes. “We enjoyed our time in Raleigh, and my family will always feel a connection to North Carolina. I feel like this is a good time to move on, and I am looking forward to my next challenge.”
Peters was 137-138-53 in four years with the Hurricanes, and failed to make the postseason during his time in charge. At the time of his resignation, he was the sixth-most tenured coach in the NHL. The release from the team is below.
McKenzie reported Thursday afternoon on TSN 1050 Radio in Toronto that the Flames were close to finalizing details to hire Peters. Gulutzan and his coaching staff were fired on Tuesday by Flames GM Brad Treliving, who is a part of the Hockey Canada braintrust that named Peters to coach the Canadian team at the IIHF World Championships in May.
By virtue of the fact that Peters exercised the out clause in his contract, the Hurricanes will owe him no compensation.
Calgary would be a natural destination for Peters, whose hometown of Three Hills, Alberta is roughly 60 miles to the northeast. Peters is familiar with the hockey groundwork of the area as well, spending many years coaching in the Western Hockey League, home of the Flames-owned Calgary Hitmen.
With Peters leaving, McKenzie speculated on Twitter on Thursday that assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour may be a leading candidate to take over the Canes’ head-coaching position. Another possibility, Charlotte Checkers coach and Hurricanes assistant GM Mike Vellucci, will be coaching his team in the Calder Cup playoffs starting Friday and would not be immediately available.
This story will be updated as necessary as the Hurricanes’ coaching search revs up, becoming the sixth team this offseason looking for a new coach.
BILL PETERS RESIGNS POSITION AS HEAD COACH
The Carolina Hurricanes today announced that Head Coach Bill Peters has resigned his position. The team will immediately begin its search for a new head coach.
“I have a lot of respect for Bill as a person and coach,” said Owner/CEO/Governor Tom Dundon.“We thank him for his time with the Hurricanes and wish him success in whatever comes next.”
Peters compiled a career record of 137-138-53 in four seasons, after being named head coach for the Hurricanes on June 19, 2014. He was the 13th person in franchise history to serve as head coach and the fourth since the team’s arrival in North Carolina in 1997. In addition to his work with the Hurricanes, Peters won a gold medal as the head coach for Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, and he will again lead Canada during the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
“I want to thank Tom Dundon, Peter Karmanos and Ron Francis for the trust they put in me to lead the team,” said Peters. “I feel the incoming general manager should have the ability to hire his own head coach. I also want to thank Don Waddell and the entire front office and PNC Arena staff. This business requires hard work and long hours, and I greatly appreciate the efforts of the many people I have worked alongside during the past four years.
“We enjoyed our time in Raleigh, and my family will always feel a connection to North Carolina. I feel like this is a good time to move on, and I am looking forward to my next challenge.”