Rod Brind'Amour says coaching is the closest thing to playing
Rod Brind’Amour’s daily routine hasn’t changed much in the three weeks since being named the Carolina Hurricanes' head coach.
He still gets to PNC Arena around 6 a.m. Still hits the weight room. Still watches a lot of video, adding even more to his must-see list as the head coach.
“It’s busier but nothing really different,” Brind’Amour said Wednesday.
Brind’Amour did deviate from the norm a bit Wednesday. He played 18 holes in the Rex Hospital Open pro-am at TPC Wakefield Plantation, sharing a cart with former N.C. State basketball star Dereck Whittenburg.
“Actually, it’s the first time I’ve been out and we had a good time, a fun time,” he said.
A pressing matter for Brind’Amour is hiring an assistant coach to complete his staff. He said an announcement likely will come this week, saying it will come after meeting with a large number of candidates.
“A lot of people wanted to do, it, a lot of people I didn’t expect who wanted to get involved,” he said.
Brind’Amour, in effect, is filling his old position after serving as an assistant coach under Kirk Muller, then Bill Peters the past four years. He said the replacement he has in mind has head-coaching experience but quickly added “at some point, at some level.”
“For me, it’s just getting the right guy, someone who’s a good teacher,” he said. “We’re going to have a young team. I want to make sure our guy can sit down with young players and talk one-on-one with them and be comfortable.”
Brind’Amour said he has contacted nearly all of the players since the May 9 press conference with the exception, he said, of Finnish forwards Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, who he said have been hard to reach. Both competed for Finland in the World Championship early this month in Denmark.
Brind’Amour said he has not talked to Jeff Skinner about the persistent trade rumors surrounding the forward, the 2011 Calder Trophy winner who finished up his eighth NHL season.
“I stay away from that because it’s mostly speculation,” Brind’Amour said.
General manager Don Waddell has said the Canes, after missing the playoffs for a ninth straight year, are not be committed to bringing back goalies Scott Darling and Cam Ward as a tandem. Ward will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 if not re-signed.
“They will address what we need to do,” Brind’Amour said of management. “I have faith in ‘Darls’ to be better and if Cam is in that (backup) role he was supposed to be I think things are different. If it does end up that way I think we’re still in good shape.”
Brind’Amour, as much as anyone, has a feel for the amount of grit and work needed to be able to play for the Stanley Cup. His quest for the Cup finally ended in victory in 2006, as captain of the Hurricanes.
Brind’Amour also has an appreciation for what the Vegas Golden Knights have been able to accomplish in their first season — an expansion team that's three wins away from completing an incredible, improbable run to the Cup.
“I love it and I love the way they’re coached and I love the way they preach it,” he said. “They’re having success and it’s no secret. There not overthinking it. They’re not bogging guys down with video. They’re teaching and then they’re letting them play.
“They got good players. They were not unknowns, in my opinion. All were quality NHL players. How good they could be was what you wondered but they were all good, solid players.”
Brind’Amour noted the Knights had a strong start to the season, the Las Vegas community rallying behind the team, then built off it.
"Success breeds that,” Brind'Amour said. ”Once you start winning it’s a snowball.
“I think we mastered how to lose. I mean, let’s be honest. You watch in the third period the last seven or eight years and you’re like, ‘Are we going to win this game/“ And we’re probably not going to, and that’s not good. It’s all a mental thing, it’s a confidence thing. That’s what we have to change and that’s my job, to change how we think about it.”
REX HOSPITAL OPEN
What: Web.com Tour event.
Where: TPC Wakefield Plantation, Raleigh.