Keep or Cut: Coach
After looking at all of the roster, and seeing the debacle that was the Boston game this week, we’re adding a bonus Keep or Cut. That’s right, today we’re talking Peters (giggity). Read what we’d do with the forwards here. Here are our thoughts on the defense. Our take on the goalies.
Derek: I was fully on the Bill Peters bandwagon. Everything we heard about him when he came to Raleigh, and everything he demonstrated in his first couple years was that he is an organized coach who could put a system in place to take a team with middling talent and make them competitive. However, over the last two seasons, I’ve seen dynamic players like Skinner, Turbo, and Aho robbed of their ability to maximize their creativity and playmaking. I’ve not seen the defense improve, and I’ve seen the same awful goaltending year after year. After he’s refused to adapt his style of play to what his players bring to the table, I’m completely done with him as coach of this team. And now, I’m gonna go drink some unfiltered water.
Meg: To a degree, Peters did improve the performance of players like Skinner, but at some point forcing your players to fit into a system where you spread out talent with overslotted fourth liners is questionable considering the depth of talent we have available in Charlotte. Without a 1C or many high-end scorers to provide more dynamic creativity, I was willing to give Peters the benefit of the doubt, because overall he has gotten consistently positive results in terms of defensive shot suppression and advanced metrics. But it seems now like he’s taken this club as far as he can, and it’s hard to see any sort of identity that he’s helped the team create. After four years, what is Bill Peters’ team, other than a team that’s “hard to play against” but can’t put a puck in the net, get a save, or muster up the mental fortitude to endure adversity? Will he go elsewhere and succeed? I think so, and I’m fine with that. Maybe this team needs a coach that plays more to the most talented players’ strengths and doesn’t limit their creative decision-making. I assume the new GM will bring his own coaching choice in over the summer. So long, Pastor Bill.
Pat: Bill Peters is an excellent hockey mind. He’s great with systems, nuance, and strategy. I’m skeptical of his in-game adjustments and square-pegging of goaltending. I’m done with his ability to neutralize his own players natural talents and having this team in a position to play to the level of their opponents too often.
It’s one thing to match lines or adjust break-out patterns based on the other team. It’s entirely another thing to allow the opponent to dictate how your team plays night after night. Peters’ group performs well against slower team — thus the great record against the Blue Jackets and Canadiens this year. This group still relies too much on one great offensive period of hockey to put them in the win column.
Thanks to the terrible NHL standings system, the Hurricanes are 6th in the Metro. This gave them a false sense of confidence going into the trade deadline. Yet they are the worst team in the division. They are tied for the fewest wins — both ROW and total wins — in the division. In a mediocre division there is no reason they couldn’t be in second or third place with the talent assembled.
During the early season struggles and initial Ownership change rumblings I had this thought — You either get Bill Peters the 1C he’s needed to better balance his lineup or you let him go. We now have an idea that Ron Francis wasn’t going to acquire that player for him, so Peters should’ve been let go at some point once a better coach with NHL experience was available. There really isn’t one that will make a difference out there. #ForNow.
Peters would be admitting defeat if he pulled a Bruce Boudreau and changed his system philosophically to lend itself to the players’ skills. That was the end of Boudreau’s time in Washington, and it’d mark the end of Peters in Carolina. But given that a system and structure are in place to keep things from going off the deep end, and the fact the team already went off the cliff, his time is at an end.
He stays as head coach until a proven, experienced head coach with offensive philosophies becomes available.
And remember this: Peters’ best season as coach wasn’t any better than Kirk Muller’s. And Muller had way less talent.
Dan: I was very excited when we brought Bill Peters on. He had promise, and his approach felt new enough to give me hope. I liked the idea of mixing up lines, keeping the opposing teams guessing and hopefully developing the team into one that could play really well regardless of who was on the ice with each other. It felt like when Muller had started with the Canes, and Kirk was Work. Then, like the last time I rode a bike as a kid, it started going downhill faster than expected and went out of control. As Derek said, he’s taken skilled players and handcuffed them, and has shown what’s either an unwillingness to adapt to the players around him or just a lack of knowledge of how to. At this point, he’s struggling more as a coach than he did acting in those Kinetico commercials, and that’s…an achievement. The time for him to go was December or January, and at this point he’s long due for a “So long and thanks for all the fish.”
Oliver: A season ago most of us were upset Bill Peters didn’t receive enough votes for Coach of the Year. Now everyone is calling for his head. Bill Peters is a good coach. Does one very disappointing season tarnish the previous work he’s done? He’s arguably gotten decent results out for poor rosters during his entire time in Raleigh. The Canes are year in and year out among the leaders in shot generation and shot suppression while being in the basement of shooting and save percentages, which could be more of an indictment of individual player talent than coaching. However, his goalie usage is often perplexing as is his love for overplaying perhaps bottom-six talent. Don’t get me started on the 3 on 3 lineups. I have no idea how NHL locker rooms feel from a motivational/morale standpoint, and that’s my biggest concern with Bill Peters. Do coaches “lose the room” or is that a cliched narrative? I think it’s highly likely a new GM will bring in their own coach and I think the Canes could benefit from a new voice, especially if it’s a switch to a more player oriented coach (gimme that Q). Goodbye sweet Albertan man.
Tom: Alex Semin. Anton Khudobin. Andrej Nestrasil. Ryan Murphy. Eric Staal. Riley Nash. Eddie Lack. And, soon enough, Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk. Done. So so so done.