As part of Canes Country's offseason coverage, we're going to offer "Exit Analysis" articles on each player. Then you get the No. 2 pencil and grade each player on their year.
We kick things off with captain Rod Brind'Amour. Brind'Amour, who completed his ninth season with the Canes, had his share of struggles this year but still put up respectable numbers. But his postseason demotion to the fourth line has many wondering if No. 17 can bounce back in 2009-10.
|2008 - Rod Brind`Amour||80||16||35||51||-23||36||6||1||1||1||135||11.9|
The Good: After leaving the team for a two-game rest during an early February West Coast trip, Brind'Amour returned for the final 28 games of the regular season and looked markedly better. He went pointless in his first five games back, but then had eight goals and 14 assists in the remaining 23 games — just one point shy of a point-per-game pace. Brind'Amour also remains one of if not the best faceoff men in the game. His 51 regular-season points still ranked fourth on the team, and his only missed time was during his two-game refocusing break. He remains a valuable penalty killer, even if he's no longer a Selke Trophy threat.
Aside from the individual numbers, Brind'Amour deserves some credit as team captain for the Canes' run to the Eastern Conference Finals. While his play wasn't up to par, no one doubts the veteran's work ethic both on and off the ice.
The Bad: For a long stretch of the season, Brind'Amour was at or near the bottom of the NHL in plus/minus. While the stat can often be misleading, it's rare for a player to minus-30 by accident. Further complicating matters was Brind'Amour's struggles at the RBC Center, where was minus-17 on the year, as compared to minus-6 on the road.
While he bounced back at the end of the regular season, Brind'Amour's struggles returned for the playoffs. He managed just four points in 18 postseason games, and only one goal, despite getting an average of more than two minutes of power play time per game. He still got nearly three minutes of PK time per game, but his even-strength time dropped to 10:22, seventh among forwards.
The Stats: The biggest thing that stands out is, of course, Brind'Amour's minus-23, far away the worst plus/minus of his career. Here's a look at the rest:
- 16 Goals — lowest total since 2003-04 (12).
- 35 assists — in his eight full seasons with Carolina, he has averaged 34.88 assists per season.
- 51 points — he had 51 points last season, but did it in 59 games against 80 this year.
- 36 PIMs — his lowest total since 2003-04 (28).
- 6 PPG — outside of his 19 power play goals in 2005-06, he has been between five and nine every season but one (one PPG in 2003-04).
- 61.0 on faceoffs — his best winning percentage since 61.1 in 2003-04.
The Money: Brind'Amour earned $4 million this season and had a cap hit of $3.6 million. He has two years remaining on his contract, each at $3 million in payout and $3.6 million in cap cost.