Bill Peters, right, was Mike Babcock's assistant for three seasons in Detroit. (David Guralnick / Detroit News)
Red Wings assistant Bill Peters has been hired by the Carolina Hurricanes as head coach. Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis will introduce Peters at a news conference Friday at PNC Arena in Raleigh.
Peters, 48, has been an assistant to coach Mike Babcock in Detroit for the last three seasons. He worked primarily with the defensemen.
"We're real happy for Bill; he's worked real hard," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "He has a lot of passion for coaching. Working the last few seasons with Mike Babcock has helped in Bill's development as a coach, and that experience should help him into the future."
Peters joins Todd McLellan (San Jose), Doug MacLean (Ottawa) and Jeff Blashill (American League title with Grand Rapids) as Babcock assistants who've left the Red Wings and had success.
"Bill has worked closely with Mike and (associate coach) Tom Renney; they've refined the system over the years, and just working with a coach like Mike Babcock, that will go a long way," Holland said. "Bill will hold people accountable and he has a great work ethic."
Holland and Babcock will formulate a list of candidates to replace Peters leading to the NHL draft in Philadelphia June 27-28. With so many head coaches being fired this offseason – and not landing jobs elsewhere – there could be a deep pool of candidates.
Holland said Blashill, who was Babcock's assistant for one season before going to Grand Rapids, will stay with the Griffins.
"He's valuable in that position," Holland said. "We have a lot of young players coming up, and Jeff has done a good job in the development of our young players."
Peters is the fourth head coach in Hurricanes history (13th in franchise history, going back to the Hartford Whalers days), replacing Kirk Muller, who was fired after the regular season.
Peters was believed to be a candidate for the Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins openings, as well, along with Renney.
Before joining the Red Wings, Peters was coach of the Chicago Blackhawks' minor-league affiliate in Rockford (AHL) and coached Spokane to the Memorial Cup in junior hockey.