DETROIT — Rockford IceDogs coach Bill Peters will assist Wings coach Mike Babcock next season.
Western Michigan coach Jeff Blashill will be the other assistant coach.
Neither coach has NHL experience.
“To succeed in the National Hockey League, you constantly have to try and stay ahead of your opponents’ systems and strategies,” Babcock said in a statement. “In looking to fill our coaching staff, I wanted successful and innovative coaches that would challenge us with new ideas in order to continually help the Red Wings become a better hockey team. I’m very happy to welcome Jeff Blashill and Bill Peters to the Red Wings coaching staff.”
Both signed three year deals.
Babcock and Peters have coached together before.
Peters, who has coached the last three seasons in Rockford of the American Hockey League, coached with Babcock in Spokane of the Western Hockey League. Peters came on at the midway point of the 1996-97 season. He returned to the same post in 1999 and stayed until 2002.
Here is Peters’ bio on icedogs.com
During his first three seasons, Peters has compiled a record of 122-97-7-14 (.552) and his teams have recorded winning seasons in all three campaigns.
The Three Hills, Alberta native was named the eighth head coach in IceHogs history and second in the American Hockey League as the top affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks on August 1, 2008.
Peters helped guide the AHL’s second youngest team in 2010-11 to a 38-33-4-5 record in 2010-11. Since Peters became head coach in Rockford, he has helped graduate 28 different players into the NHL including Stanley Cup Champion goalie Antti Niemi, defensemen Jordan Hendry and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
His achievements at the pro level come on the heels of incredible success at the junior level for Peters. In his third and final year as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs in 2007-08, he led the Western Hockey League champions to the Memorial Cup championship, the highest award for a team in Canadian junior hockey.
In July 2008, the 46-year-old was named the head coach of the U-18 Canadian National Team, serving in that role through Canada’s sweep (4-0) of the 2008 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Canada beat Russia 6-3 on Aug. 16, 2008 in the Gold Medal game after outscoring their opponents 19-8 in the primary round.
Peters started his hockey operations career as a scout with the Spokane Chiefs. In the 1999-2000 season, he rejoined the coaching staff under the leadership of 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Head Coach Mike Babcock, serving in that role until 2002. After three years with the University of Lethbridge team in 2004-05, he again went back behind the bench of the Spokane Chiefs, but this time as the head coach.
In three seasons, Peters finished third on the Chiefs franchise coaching list with 111 wins in just 216 games. Under his leadership, the Chiefs improved in wins and points each season, including a 14-win and 27-point jump from 2006-07 to 2007-08. Spokane tied a single-season franchise record with 50 wins and set franchise marks with 107 points and fewest goals allowed in a single season (160, 2.22 per game) in 2007-08, the season that culminated in a 4-1 win over the host team, the Kitchener Rangers, in the Memorial Cup.
Peters coached with Babcock when the two were in Spokane of the Western Hockey League. Peters was a midseason replacement on Babcock’s staff during the 1996-97 season and returned to the same post in 1999 – Babcock’s final season with the Chiefs – where he stayed until 2002.
After three seasons at the University of Lethbridge, Peters returned to Spokane, but this time as head coach, and he helped the Chiefs capture the Memorial Cup in 2008, the same year that the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup. Peters is third all-time in Chiefs’ history with 111 coaching victories in just 216 games. Babcock’s 228 wins still sits atop the Chiefs’ list.
In 2008, the Chiefs tied a franchise record for most wins (50) and set new marks for points (107) and fewest goals allowed (160).
Most recently, Peters was the most-tenured coach in Rockford IceHogs’ history, spending the last three seasons at the helm of the Chicago Blackhawks’ top AHL affiliate. During that time, Peters guided the IceHogs to a 122-97-7-14 record, including back-to-back 40-win seasons in his first two campaigns.
While at Rockford, Peters helped groomed 28 different players for the NHL, including Stanley Cup champion goalie Antti Niemi and defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson.