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, N.C. (AP) Bill Peters has not been able to
lead the Carolina Hurricanes back to the NHL playoffs and after coming up short
following his fourth season with the club, announced Friday that he is
resigning.”I feel like this is a good time to move on,” Peters said in a
statement issued by the team, ”and I am looking forward to my next
challenge.”Peters went 137-138-53 in his lone head coaching job in the NHL. He
had one season left on the contract extension he signed in 2016.New team owner
Tom Dundon said he has ”a lot of respect for Bill as a person and coach.”The
move leaves the Hurricanes looking for a new general manager and head coach.
Hall of Fame player Ron Francis was reassigned to another front-office position
during the season.”I feel the incoming general manager should have the ability
to hire his own head coach,” said Peters, who was hired by Francis in 2014.The
53-year-old Peters figures to be a candidate for other openings around the
league – including a team in his home province.The Calgary Flames fired Glen
Gulutzan earlier this week after missing the playoffs in his second season.
Peters is a native of Three Hills, Alberta, who played college hockey in that
province at Red Deer College under coach Mike Babcock – who eventually hired him
as an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings.Peters left the Red Wings’ staff four
years ago to take his first NHL head coaching job with Carolina, but was unable
to end the team’s playoff drought, which at nine years is one of the longest in
NHL history.The Hurricanes have made the postseason just once since winning the
Stanley Cup in 2006, and just twice in 15 seasons. This will be their third
coaching change since their last playoff appearance in 2009.Expected to be a
playoff team this season P.K
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, Carolina finished 14 points out of a postseason
spot and in sixth place in the eight-team Metropolitan Division.There’s been
plenty of change over the past four months for the Hurricanes, who will have
turnover in three key spots on the organizational roster.Longtime owner Peter
Karmanos Jr. sold the majority interest in the team to Dundon in January, and
the Dallas billionaire shook things up when he reassigned Francis to the role of
president of hockey operations. The new GM will report directly to
Dundon.Peters’ frustration became evident following a critical 3-1 loss to San
Jose in February that cost them a chance to move into playoff position. After
that game, Peters called his team out, repeatedly using the word ”disappointing”
while promising lineup changes that ultimately never came.— CHICAGO — Jonathan
Toews may have gotten the Chicago Blackhawks‘ offense rolling in the right
direction.Patrick Kane has taken the baton.Kane, who has scored seven goals in
the past seven games, looks to extend his streak when the Blackhawks host the
Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday at the United Center. Kane accounted for two of
Chicago’s three third-period goals in a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue
Jackets on Saturday night.Article continues below ...Chicago (4-1-2) won for the
first time in regulation this season and hopes to build off of it against the
Lightning, who lost 5-4 in overtime to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.The
Blackhawks’ offense provided plenty of goal-scoring for Corey Crawford, who
logged 37 saves in his second game back after making his first appearance in 10
months earlier this week. Given the back-to-back nature of Sunday’s game after
Crawford made the start Saturday in Columbus, whether he is back in net Sunday
against the Lightning likely won’t be decided until Sunday.But Blackhawks coach
Joel Quenneville liked what he saw Saturday.“That was vintage Crow,” Quenneville
told reporters afterSaturday’s win Authentic
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, according to NBC Sports Chicago. Kane
added, “As (Quenneville) would say, that’s a goalie win for us.”As Kane
continued to surge ahead offensively, Crawford appears to be fully back despite
the amount of time he missed with the concussion. Crawford posted the victory by
stopping 37 of the 38 shots he faced to secure his first victory.“Felt really
good,” Crawford told reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune. “(I) was
reading plays really well. I thought our (defensemen) were blocking shots and I
don’t know how many we tipped into the net. (Columbus) had a lot of speed and we
were taking that away.”Now, Chicago, which many pundits predicted would miss the
playoffs for a second straight season, will look to carry the momentum of
Saturday’s solid performance on the road into Sunday’s game back at home.Before
the season began, Kane and his teammates stressed the importance of a strong
start. The Blackhawks have gotten what they wished for.“That was really our
focus this year,” Kane told reporters Roman
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, according to the Tribune. “We’re happy with our
start, (but) we can play a little bit better.”Tampa Bay (4-1-1) won’t have much
time to recover from Saturday’s loss to the Wild in which the Lightning watched
a 3-1 lead disappear after the first period and needed an Anton Stralman goal in
the third period to force overtime. Andrei Vasilevsky made 29 saves for the
Lightning, who saw their three-game winning streak end with Saturday’s
loss.“This one stings,” Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonaugh told reporters after
the loss, according to TampaBay.com. “We’ve got to learn here to not take a
period off.”After such a quick start when Tampa Bay got goals from Ryan Callahan
(his first of the season) and J.T. Miller, it appeared the Lightning were on
their way.“I think we stopped doing the things that made us successful in the
first period,” Stralman told reporters.
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