Tag: Rod Brind’Amour

Paul Maurice

Hurricanes look to complete some unfinished business

After going 8-1-1 down the stretch, the Carolina Hurricanes held their playoff destiny in their own hands. All that stood between them and a playoff berth were the Tampa Bay Lightning going into their season finale; the Lightning were already locked into their playoff spot and the Hurricanes were fighting for the playoff lives. So when the Lightning dropped the hammer on the Canes (6-2), it made for a long summer for the players in Raleigh. As the players start filtering back to Carolina, it’s apparent that the way last season ended left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth.

Chad LaRose spoke with Chip Alexander from the News Observer about the way the season ended and the painful offseason:

“Let’s say I’ve got some unfinished business. It’s like it’s been forever. It’s been way too long.

“What you shoot for is short summers. When it gets long like this you’re itching and chomping at the bit to get back and get going.”

All-star netminder Cam Ward echoed his teammates’ sentiments to Carolina beat-writer:

“We’ve got high expectations here. By no means do we want to be seated at home watching the playoffs again.”

Chad LaRose is leading the informal offseason workouts for the Hurricanes this season—a role that is new for him and the organization. For years, these workouts were led by veteran (and renowned fitness freak) Rod Brind’Amour. But with Brind’Amour retiring, LaRose has stepped up and taken an offseason leadership role with the team. Other Hurricanes players in town for training include promising youngsters Justin Faulk, Zac Dalpe, and Jamie McBain. Faulk and Dalpe are looking to make the team out of training camp while the promising McBain is looking to solidify his spot as a major producer from the blueline.

For a team that was only 60 minutes away from a playoff berth, it should be fascinating to see how much motivation to start the season. Coming so close, then failing, then having the entire offseason to reflect is like the antithesis to the Stanley Cup hangover. Last season, they were unable to dig themselves out of their deep hole in the standings even though they were one of the hottest teams throughout the end of March and into April. But if they can get off to a hot start next season, they won’t have to worry about a late season run to squeeze into the playoffs.

The Hurricanes will have a few newcomers to successfully mix into the fold if they want to flourish next season. Tomas Kaberle arrives from Boston to fill the spot on the blueline that was formerly held by Joe Corvo. Alexei Ponikarovsky will look to regain the scoring touch that’s made him a four-time 20 goal scorer and Anthony Stewart will try to prove that last season was only the beginning of him realizing his vast potential.

If the newcomers can produce like GM Jim Rutherford hopes and the returning players play with a chip on their shoulder, they will be back to the promised land of the playoffs faster than you can say “Skinner for Prom King.”

Carolina promotes Rod Brind’Amour, Ron Francis; adds Dave Lewis to coaching staff

2010 NHL Draft - Round One
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While the 2011 Stanley Cup finals heat up, inactive NHL teams hope to gear up for the 2011-12 season. That means making signings both big and small, from locking up prospects, pending free agents and tweaking their front office.

The Carolina Hurricanes – or at least their president and general manager Jim Rutherford – seem to make many of their decisions based on previous loyalties. They brought current head coach Paul Maurice back into the fold after firing him once and re-acquired players such as Erik Cole, Cory Stillman and Anton Babchuk after they departed one or more times.

Even when it comes to retired players, the Hurricanes organization seems to be most comfortable with familiar faces. The team made four notable changes to their front office staff today, with two of the parties being obvious bedrocks of the team during their playing days.

  • First, let’s get to one familiar face to the hockey world who isn’t as obvious a choice for Carolina. Former Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins head coach Dave Lewis was added as an assistant coach, according to the team’s release. The team didn’t elaborate on which specific duties Lewis will have, though.
  • Speaking of former Canes captains, revered figure Ron Francis was promoted to director of hockey operations. The well-respected Hall of Famer was an associate coach for the team since December 2008 and also worked as a director of player personnel, director of player development and assistant general manager at different points in his post-retirement career.
  • Finally, the team added Tom Rowe to their scouting department. Rowe served as an assistant coach in Carolina for three seasons, so he’s a familiar face to many even if he probably isn’t immediately identifiable to fans.

Carolina to retire Rod Brind’Amour’s number tonight vs. Philadelphia

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When it comes time to hang it up for a career, it’s rare when a player can be remembered as cult hero and an icon in two different cities, but that’s precisely what Rod Brind’Amour can do. Tonight, Brind’Amour will be honored in Raleigh having his number 17 retired as his old team, the Philadelphia Flyers, are in town to play the Hurricanes.

Brind’Amour spent 18 of his 20 years in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes. After being drafted and playing two seasons with the Blues, he was traded to Philadelphia in 1991 along with Dan Quinn in exchange for Ron Sutter and Murray Baron.

With the Flyers, Brind’Amour would become a cult hero especially during the team’s Stanley Cup final run in 1997 before losing to Detroit. When he was traded in 2000 for Keith Primeau, Brind’Amour quickly became a hero with the Hurricanes helping lead the team to two Stanley Cup finals appearances and captaining the team that won it all in 2006. After seeing it first hand in Raleigh during All-Star Weekend, the love people in the south have for Brind’Amour is incredible. With his number going up to the rafters, Brind’Amour is forever humbled by the honor.

Brind’Amour acknowledges that he will forever be associated with the Hurricanes, something he couldn’t have imagined when he joined the team at age 29.

“After winning that championship, that did it,” he said. “I don’t think there could have been a better way of going out. I think if I had won maybe before in Philadelphia things might have been different.

“But obviously when you win there’s nothing greater than that. And there’s no better way to be remembered.”

Brind’Amour was such a fierce competitor on the ice and one of the most gentlemanly off of it, seeing the Hurricanes pay tribute to him like this and to do it with his old team in the building to witness it is one of the most classy nods we’ve seen an organization make for a player. After all, Brind’Amour said getting traded by Philadelphia was one of the worst days in his career. Having it pay off so well going to a team and community that embraced him so willingly and getting to win the Stanley Cup for them sure makes up for it.