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updated: 6/19/2014 5:22 PM

Carolina hires former Ice Hogs coach Peters to lead 'Canes

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Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes have hired former Rockford Ice Hogs coach and Detroit Red Wings assistant Bill Peters as their new coach.

The team announced Peters' hiring Thursday and said he would be introduced Friday during a news conference.

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It's the first big hire for new general manager Ron Francis, who took over in April during a reshuffling of the organization.

The 48-year-old Peters spent the past three years working primarily with the Red Wings' defensemen and penalty-killers.

The hiring wraps up a 46-day search for the successor to Kirk Muller, who was fired May 5 after going 80-80-27 in three seasons. Since the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006, they have made only one playoff appearance -- in 2009.

Francis fired Muller one week after the Hockey Hall of Fame player moved up a rung on the organization's ladder and took over as GM.

In announcing Muller's dismissal, Francis promised an open, wide-reaching search and said he wanted to find "a guy who's a teacher" before the draft, which begins June 27.

Peters becomes the Hurricanes' second straight first-time NHL head coach: Muller was in his first season with the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals when he was hired in 2011 to replace Paul Maurice.

Peters does have head coaching experience -- just not at the NHL level.

Before joining the Red Wings' staff, he coached Rockford of the AHL from 2008-11 and guiding that team to consecutive 40-win seasons. Eight of his Rockford players -- including goalies Antti Niemi and Corey Crawford -- won the Cup with Chicago in either 2010 or 2013.

Before that, he coached Spokane (Washington)of the Western Hockey League for three seasons.

His first head coaching job came at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, from 2002-05, and before that he was an assistant to current Red Wings coach Mike Babcock in Spokane.

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