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A lot of names have been thrown into the mix for the head coaching vacancy in Calgary but one really seems to have separated himself from the pack.
That, of course, is Bill Peters. Today he opted out of his contract with the Carolina Hurricanes with the idea of landing a gig elsewhere.
That gig seems likely to be with the Flames, where he is reportedly seen as the leading candidate to replace Glen Gulutzan.
I think Peters makes as much sense for the job as any available candidate. He has NHL experience, which GM Brad Treliving cited as "critical" during his recent press conference.
Peters also has a working relationship with Treliving from their time together with Hockey Canada at the Worlds.
He's not a name-brand coach who will command top dollar, which could be a factor for ownership considering they're also paying Gulutzan in 2018-19.
Most importantly, though, Peters is a pretty good coach.
His teams have historically done a good job of out-shooting and out-chancing opponents at 5v5. Generally that leads to a lot of wins but, unfortunately for Peters, that wasn't the case in large part due to horrendous goaltending on an annual basis.
The best Peters had to work with was 28th ranked goaltending. As iffy as Calgary's goaltending seemed down the stretch, they still finished 22nd in 5v5 save percentage. Provided the Flames find a capable backup, which shouldn't be too difficult, it's reasonable to expect even better next season.
I think a case could have been made for keeping Gulutzan around but if the Flames were going to go out and get a new coach, Peters is a pretty good choice.
We'll see if they get him.
What about Bill Peters?
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