Lethbridge hires ex-Flames bench boss Bill Peters as head coach

Logo from Lethbridge Hurricanes website.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have hired Bill Peters as the 15th head coach in team history, the club announced at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

“We are very excited to announce Bill Peters as our new head coach,” Hurricanes GM Peter Anholt said in a team press release. “Bill brings a high level of experience, having coached professionally in the AHL and NHL. His previous time in the WHL, which included a Memorial Cup championship in 2008, along with his experience coaching in Lethbridge with the (University of Lethbridge) Pronghorns, put him at the top of our candidate list.”

Peters resigned as the head coach of the NHL’s Calgary Flames in November 2019 after it became public he had committed an act of anti-black racism towards Akim Aliu when he was the head coach of the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs during the 2009-10 season.

“After a thorough review, speaking with representatives from Shades of Humanity, and receiving a commitment from Bill to continue on his path of anti-racism, self-growth and redemption, the WHL is satisfied Bill is ready to return to coaching in the WHL,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison in a league statement. “The journey towards individual and systemic equity learning should be viewed as an ongoing process. Bill has demonstrated that through this process and the WHL remains committed to systemic change through continued education.”

Peters has spent the past year in the Shades of Humanity Anti-Racism Training and Coaching Certification program.

“Over the last several years, I have worked to understand my previous anti-black racist thoughts and actions,” Peters said in a WHL press releas. “I have learned much through this reformational journey and feel ready to return to coaching. I am in an influential position to positively impact community leaders and contribute to a more inclusive generation in hockey. I will share the tools I have learned with the Lethbridge Hurricanes organization and am fully committed to building a safe environment in our dressing room, community, and in our sport.”

Peters had previously led the Spokane Chiefs to the WHL and Memorial Cup Championship in 2008, among other coaching achievements. Peters replaces Brent Kisio, who was hired as an assistant by the Henderson Silver Knights earlier this month.