In Rod We Trust

In Rod We Trust

Today at high noon, Rod Brind’Amour was officially introduced as the new head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes in a press conference alongside owner Tom Dundon and now official general manager Don Waddell. The press conference is well worth the investment of your time to gain a little bit of insight into Rod Brind’Amour as a head coach on his first full day officially on the job but more significantly to feel the positive vibe emanating out from the media room at PNC Arena. Especially for those who are negative or on the fence on this move, I encourage you to watch the press conference and suck in some of the positive energy. As a Canes hockey fan, you deserve it. I originally called for Rod Brind’Amour to be named interim coach on March 14 after one of many debilitating losses during the 2017-18 season. To be clear, my intent at that time was simply to make a statement, put a stake in the ground and move forward. One has to wonder if not for the financial situation that ultimately enabled Dundon to see Peters to the door without risking paying him for next season if in fact he would have been on in mid-March. More recently on April 25, I posted a reasonably balanced set of pros and cons on the potential for Rod Brind’Amour to be the next head coach. And yesterday after the announcement that Brind’Amour had been named head coach, I penned some additional notes on the situation. To be clear, I stand by my original preference for a coach with more head coach experience, and...
Rod Brind’Amour named head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes

Rod Brind’Amour named head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes

  One of the challenges of running a daily hockey site in my free time is the seemingly uncanny ability for big events to happen when they do not fit with other obligations. For the paid media, they just shift whatever else they are doing around because it is part of their job. Hence the delay covering today’s big news. I mostly covered the topic in my article addressing the pros and cons of Brind’Amour as an option on April 25. But Rod Brind’Amour officially named as the head coach, let me add a bit to my thoughts from a couple weeks ago.   He is the right type of player to be a good head coach The NHL like pretty much every other sport is littered with stories of great players who were not even remotely successful at coaching. Playing and coaching are two completely different skill sets despite being within the same profession. As such, it is a risky move to put a player with no head coaching experience or success at any level in a head coaching role at the NHL level. No doubt, there is a chance that this move fails. But risk noted, I do think that because of the type of player that Rod Brind’Amour was that he is the right kind of player to succeed as a coach. His strength as a player was not raw skill. His strengths were his work ethic and effort and also his leadership. Those traits, especially the latter, translate well to coaching. The work ethic thing is tricky because even if Brind’Amour leads well, it just...
Rod Brind’Amour – “The captain”

Rod Brind’Amour – “The captain”

Rod Brind’Amour’s arrival in Raleigh set the path for the building of the franchise and the greatest times in team history. He arrived via the most significant trade in Canes history when Canes GM Jim Rutherford somehow converted former captain Keith Primeau who was holding out for a new contract at the time into Rod Brind’Amour on January 23, 2000. Brind’Amour had a modest four goals and ten assists in 33 games at the end of the 1999-00 season, but it was enough time to settle into the second line center position. With him, the Hurricanes a one-two punch with Francis leading a first line that leaned offense and Brind’Amour leading a second line that aimed to shut down the other teams’ best scoring line whenever Coach Paul Maurice could get that matchup. The 2000-01 season saw Brind’Amour score 20 goals and collect 56 points while eating up a huge helping of the hard minutes on penalty kill, with defensive zone draws and playing shift in and shift out against the other teams’ best players. The 2000-01 Hurricanes made the playoffs for the first time in Raleigh (1997-98 playoff appearance was during short Greensboro run while their stadium was being built). The excitement for those playoffs was squashed quickly by the New Jersey Devils when the Devils won the first three games of the series decisively and delivered a physical blow to the tune of season-ending concussions for Shane Willis and captain Ron Francis. Rod Brind’Amour led an undermanned Hurricanes squad to an inspiring ‘never say die’ comeback that saw the Canes win game four. In that first playoff...