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Bill Peters was named the Rockford IceHogs bench boss on Friday.
08/01/2008 11:30 AM

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Peters coached the WHL's Spokane Chiefs to the 2008 Memorial Cup in the spring

Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs,  members of the American Hockey League and affiliates of the Chicago Blackhawks, have announced Bill Peters as the eighth head coach in team history.

The 43-year-old joins the IceHogs after serving the past three years as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League, where he led the Chiefs to the 2008 Memorial Cup Championship.

“I think this is a good opportunity at this stage of my career and it wouldn’t have been possible without the experience and success we had in Spokane,” Peters said. “I’m excited about the opportunity with the Chicago Blackhawks organization. In meeting with them I felt good about the direction their team is going.  It is an organization in the upswing and I was impressed with the people, particularly Dale Tallon, Stan Bowman and John McDonough.”

Peters was also recently named head coach for Canada’s National Men’s World Junior Under-18 team, and is currently in the Calgary, Alberta with the team preparing for the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial on August 12-16 in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

He replaces Mike Haviland who earned a promotion to an assistant coaching position with the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this month.

"We’re very excited to have Bill Peters join the Chicago Blackhawks organization and becoming the head coach of the Rockford IceHogs,” said Blackhawks General Manager of Minor League Affiliates Mark Bernard.  “He not only has a tremendous amount of experience working under Stanley Cup winning coach Mike Babcock with the Spokane Chiefs, but he’s made his own success at Spokane, culminating when his team captured the Memorial Cup this past spring.

“Bill will be tremendous for the Blackhawks young prospects and will do a terrific job guiding them towards the goal and that’s playing in National Hockey League with Chicago.”

The Three Hills, Alberta native is third on the Chiefs franchise list with 115 wins and 217 games coached. Under Peters, the Chiefs improved in wins and points in each of the past three years, including a 14-win and 27-point improvement from 2006-07 to 2007-08. Also last season, 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).

Peters originally joined the Chiefs organization as a scout. He temporarily moved into a coach role midseason in 1996-97, serving under 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Head Coach Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings. In 1999, he accepted a full-time assistant position, serving in that role through 2002. In the 1999-2000 season he was named Western Conference’s All-Star Assistant Coach. In 2004, he accepted a head coaching position with the University of Lethbridge and then rejoined the Chiefs in 2005.

Season Tickets Now On Sale:  The Rockford IceHogs have a variety of season ticket packages available for the 2008-09 season.  To find a package that works for you, call (815) 986-6465 and speak with a season ticket sales executive.