Fantasy Impact: The Calgary Flames have hired former Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters to take the reins of their team on the heels of missing the playoffs for the seventh time in the last nine years. Peters had resigned from the 'Canes just a few days ago, is one of the rare coaches to leave a team on his own terms.
In a nutshell, Peters left a promising team with a great group of young forwards, an improving group of young defensemen, and…well, some beer league gentlemen who fancy themselves to be goaltenders. And he's joining a team with a great group of young forwards, an incredible group of defensemen young and old, and an actual goaltender with a couple of good young ones on the way.
The Flames had been targeting Peters before they fired the last coach Glen Gulutzan. "At the time we made the decision for a change last week, I had gone and asked for permission to speak with Carolina regarding Bill's availability, and I want to thank the Carolina Hurricanes for their cooperation in that process," general manager Brad Treliving said.
As for the fantasy hockey implications, the Flames finished 27th in goals-for and 29th in PP% (16.0%). Carolina was better on both counts, albeit not by much – 23rd and 22nd (18.4%). But I think the PP difference is telling. Calgary achieved the weaker number with very strong puck-moving defensemen. Carolina performed better despite rather poor puck-movers (relatively speaking). I think you'll see a pretty nice spike in PP goals for the Flames next year, which should benefit Dougie Hamilton, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Mark Giordano, Matt Tkachuk and even TJ Brodie. Running the same team reports for 2016-17 and Calgary was a much stronger scoring team thanks to a very strong power play – whereas Carolina was about the same. It indicates to me that Peters will have more of a lasting impact. Most coaches have a "first-year splash" with their new team. Ken Hitchcock used to be notorious for that, and Randy Carlyle is still known for it. Peters will get the offense (specifically the power play) going again, and he'll be able to sustain it for multiple seasons. This move is a good one for owners of Calgary players.