Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said coach Bill Peters has his full support as they try to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009.
"I think Bill Peters is one [heck] of a hockey coach, so I would not put him on the hot seat and in that category. Not at all," Francis told the The News & Observer in comments published Wednesday. "This is a guy who has shown he's a [heck of a] coach with a very young team. I don't think you hold him accountable for missing the playoffs the last couple of years, based on the situation we were in and what we were trying to build."
The Hurricanes roster last season had an average age of 26.8 years, sixth-youngest in the NHL, according to Hockey-Reference.com.
Peters is 101-103-42 in three seasons as Hurricanes coach. Carolina (36-31-15, 87 points) finished eight points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference last season.
During the offseason, the Hurricanes added goaltender Scott Darling, forwards Marcus Kruger and Justin Williams, and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk. Those four players have combined to win the Stanley Cup seven times.
"I think we're happy with what we were able to accomplish to this point and we're comfortable starting the season with the lineup we have," Francis said. "I think we can be a very competitive team and get our foot in the playoffs.
"As we saw last year with [the] Nashville [Predators], all you have to do is get an invitation to the dance and you have a chance to do some damage."