Former Three Hills resident Bill Peters has reached what could be viewed as a pivotal point in his career, since he verbally agreed to a three year contract as assistant coach with the NHL team the Detroit Red Wings. Bill takes the position alongside assistant coach Jeff Blashill, and head coach Mike Babcock.
For the first 10 years of his life, Peters lived in Three Hills, and grew up playing minor hockey. In the mid 1970's, his family moved to Killam, AB, and he continued with the sport, right into his college years. While attending Camrose Lutheran College and Red Deer College, Peters played hockey at the collegiate level.
It was in Red Deer in 1988 when Bill was first introduced to Mike, who started his career as head coach for the Red Deer team that Bill was playing with.
Peters' own coaching career began in 1996 as a mid-season replacement assistant coach for the WHL's Spokane Chiefs. It was then that Bill got an opportunity to work alongside Babcock on the bench in 1999 when the two coached together.
In 2004, he left the team to head the University of Lethbridge Hurricanes. The next year he was back in Spokane, this time as their head coach. He did not disappoint because in 2008, Peters led the WHL's Spokane Chiefs to win the Memorial Cup title.
Later the same year, Peters was named the head coach of the U-18 Canadian National Team. Canada won the Gold medal under his direction.
From there, Bill took over as the head coach for the AHL's Rockford Icehogs - the Chicago Blackhawks affiliate team, and that is where he has spent the last three seasons.
As for his new gig, Peters said he is "excited about joining the Original Six franchise." According to Bill, he and wife Denise, and their two children, Aleze (12), and Ayden (6), are in the process of finding a house and a suitable school in Detroit.
"That's the toughest part - relocating the family," explained Bill. That being said, Bill's daughter Aleze told the family, "it's a chance to make new memories."
Bill acknowledges that he's ready to move "on to the next challenge, and the next chapter."
About reuniting with Mike Babcock, Bill said they've had great success in their player-coach relationship, and their coach-assistant coach relationship. "I anticipate a strong season," Bill expressed. As far as being an NHL rookie, Peters said he is excited to have a "realistic opportunity to compete for the cup," and this time, he means the Stanley Cup.
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