Bill Peters was introduced today as the new head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes. A few highlights from the press conference:
— General manager Ron Francis said Peters received a three-year contract.
— What attracted Peters to the Carolina job? “We’re not far off. I like our depth down the middle. I think we have a great [first pair of defensemen in Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk]. … If we can fix our power play and be a better team at home and get off to better starts in games, we’re going to be a very competitive team. … I think there’s lots of pieces here and it’s up to us as coaches…to max our group out.”
— How will Peters keep his players accountable? “I have the ultimate hammer as a coach, and the hammer is the ice time. They all want ice time, they all feel they deserve more ice time, they all want to play in the situations that match their skill set. I’m all for that as long as you’re going to give me the things that I need — the work ethic, the play away from the puck, the attention to detail. … When it doesn’t all come together, I’m going to swing the hammer.”
— Francis on the roster: “I don’t foresee a major makeover. As Bill mentioned, we’ve got some pretty good pieces in place. I know it’s been frustrating that we haven’t made the playoffs in five years. … We believe we have a pretty good group here that can compete and win.”
— Peters on the style he wants the ‘Canes to play: “I want to have the puck. … If you’re not good defensively in the National Hockey League and you don’t know how to play in your own end, you know what end you play in. You never get out of your own end. And it’s that ‘here they come again’ feeling. … In order to be a good hockey team, you’ve got to be good in the defensive zone, you’ve got to be efficient, you’ve got to be able to get through the neutral zone, and go have fun in the offensive zone.”
— More Peters: “We’re going to get our d-men in the rush, and we’re going to play an up-tempo exciting game that the fans of this region are going to enjoy watching.
Related: ‘Canes fire Muller; team needs ‘fresh start,’ says Francis
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: