Former Spokane Chiefs head coach Bill Peters (2005-08) was named the head coach of the NHL’s Calgary Flames on Monday, becoming the 19th bench boss in the franchise’s history. Peters had spent the last four seasons leading the Carolina Hurricanes.
“Being home is important. Of course. A great bonus for me,” Peters told George Johnson for calgaryflames.com. “But you make a decision like this one based primarily on opportunity. Ownership group very strong. Relationship with the general manager, who I have a lot of respect for, along with everyone else in hockey. And I believe in what they’re trying to accomplish.”
Peters grew up in rural Alberta – he was born in Three Hills and raised in Killam – so the opportunity in Calgary presents a chance to return home.
He was an assistant coach for the Chiefs from 1999-2002 before taking the head job at University of Lethbridge. He returned to Spokane for the head coaching position in 2005 and improved the club from 58 points in 2005-06 to 107 in 2007-08, culminating in the franchise’s second Memorial Cup Championship.
Following the championship run, Peters took a job coaching the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League for three seasons, then assisted fellow former Chiefs coach Mike Babcock with the Detroit Red Wings from 2011-14. He took over behind the bench for the Hurricanes in 2014 and led the team to a 137-138-53 record over four seasons. With Carolina’s General Manager position vacant, he decided to exercise his opt-out clause earlier this month.
Outside of league play, Peters is an accomplished coach at the international level, leading Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup as well as the IIHF Men’s World Championship, where he will coach once again this year as the 2018 tournament kicks off next month.