According to a report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman during last night’s Saturday Headlines segment on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters has been granted permission from team owner Tom Dundon to seek coaching opportunities elsewhere in the NHL.
What’s particularly interesting about this is that Peters still has a year remaining on his contract with the Hurricanes with a salary reportedly worth $1.6 million.
“We mentioned a couple weeks ago that Carolina coach Bill Peters has an option open in his contract to leave,” Friedman explained live on air. “That is on right now. There was some belief it was a seven-day option that would’ve closed potentially as soon as today, but I think that’s been extended and he remains to have the ability to look around if he wants to leave the Hurricanes.”
The thing is, there are very few available head coaching gigs out there right now. Only the New York Rangers and Dallas Stars are currently without a head coach… unless we’re also counting Peters’ very own Hurricanes, as well. Regardless, the situation in Carolina is unique, to say the least.
Since new owner Dundon has taken over the franchise there has been a noticeable change in the way that the Hurricanes have conducted business. Dundon, a successful businessman in the financial sector, has dismissed Hurricanes legend Ron Francis from his position as general manager and made headlines earlier this month when he personally conducted exit interviews with Hurricanes players himself. Now, he’s allowed his head coach to look for a job elsewhere. Forget about the Carolina Hurricanes you used to know, under Dundon it’s anything but “business, as usual.”
For what it’s worth, Peters has already accepted an invitation to be the head coach of Team Canada in the upcoming 2018 IIHF World Championships in Denmark next month. He’ll be expected to lead a powerhouse team that features superstar Connor McDavid, as well as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly and others.
If Peters can coach Canada to a strong showing Denmark, there’s no doubt that he’ll raise his stock amongst NHL general managers. Particularly, it’ll be interesting to see how he works with McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins as there’s a lot of chatter in Edmonton about the Edmonton Oilers potentially dismissing their head coach Todd McLellan. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire?