Hurricanes name Brind'Amour head coach, Waddell as GM

Rod Brind’Amour wanted the job, badly. He wanted to be the Carolina Hurricanes’ head coach.

Brind’Amour will get his chance. The former Canes captain and Stanley Cup winner has been named coach, the team announced Tuesday.

The Hurricanes also announced Don Waddell will serve as general manager, replacing the fired Ron Francis. Waddell will continue as team president.

Canes owner Tom Dundon said Tuesday night that Brind'Amour received a three-year contract.

Brind’Amour, 47, has served as an assistant coach under head coaches Kirk Muller and then Bill Peters, working with the forwards and heading up the power play. But with a change in team ownership has come a change in coaches, as Dundon wanted a new look and new voice in the locker room.

"Rod is the greatest leader in the history of this franchise, and has earned the opportunity to take charge of our locker room," Waddell said in a statement. "We spoke to a number of candidates for this position, but our conversations with staff and players consistently returned to the same person. Rod's fresh ideas, ability to motivate and understanding of what it takes to bring a championship to Raleigh will help our young team take the next step toward competing to bring the Cup back to North Carolina."

Peters resigned April 20, opting out of the final year of his contract to become the Calgary Flames coach, and Brind’Amour soon said that he wanted to be considered as a candidate.

“If you never try, you’ll never know,” Brind’Amour said in an interview last month. “The reason for saying ‘why not?’ is I’ve been doing it for eight years and I really believe I can help out one way or the other and see if I can put us over the hump.

“I don’t think as an assistant I’m going to get any better or learn any more. So now’s the time.”

The Hurricanes have missed the playoffs each of the past nine years, the longest streak in the NHL. Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006, with Brind’Amour the captain, the Canes have qualified only in 2009, reaching the Eastern Conference finals.

Brind’Amour was the quintessential captain when he played for the Canes, his relentless work ethic infectious and his intensity a driving force behind the 2006 Stanley Cup champions. He wasn’t sure whether he wanted to coach after retiring as a player in June 2010, after more than 20 seasons, but soon found himself behind the Canes bench.

Justin Williams played with Brind'Amour on the 2006 champs and the forward returned to Carolina last year as a free agent at the urging of Brind'Amour, the assistant coach. Now, Williams will have him as a head coach.

“I'm excited for Roddy to have that opportunity," Williams said Tuesday. "He's seen so much so many coaches in his time, he's learned from them, he deserves a chance to make it his own. I've got a lot of time for Roddy. He means a lot to me in my hockey career. Absolutely, I'm going to endorse him.”

Brind'Amour will have decisions to make on his assistant coaches, his systems. He'll be the man responsible for having his team prepared and ready to play, game after game.

"I think there's a difference between trying and getting more out of people than they thought they had," Dundon said in a recent interview. "I think Rod is one of those people who can get more out of people than they may have known they had."

Waddell, 59, has been serving as interim general manager since Francis was reassigned from his GM position, then fired, and has been assisting Dundon in interviewing GM candidates. At one point, Waddell said he did not consider himself a candidate for the GM job.

Waddell was president and general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers before their relocation to Winnipeg. He was interim coach of the Thrashers during the 2007-08 season.

Dundon did not issue a statement on the Brind'Amour hiring but did take to Twitter, tweeting: FREE RODDY B!