This has been a tough season for Carolina Hurricanes center Rod Brind`Amour, no two ways about it. He finished the campaign with a total of 19 points, the lowest point total in his 20 year NHL career. His plus/minus stat of (-29) was nearly the worst in the league for the second consecutive year. He was asked to relinquish his captaincy in mid season.
The veteran ended up playing on the fourth line during the second half of the season, his average minutes on the ice dropping from the mid-teens to five to seven minutes a night.
But through all the adversity, Brind'Amour never uttered a single word of distress or complaint.
#17 / Center / Carolina Hurricanes
Aug 09, 1970
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Brind'Amour will turn 40 years old this August and it looks like his age might have finally caught up with his performance. One of the biggest questions for the team this offseason is whether or not he will retire, even though he still has a year left on his contract. He is still deliberating at the date of this article.
The Good: Brind'Amour is still a leader in the room. The non-stop rotating group of newly arriving youngsters and the rest of his teammates continued to look up to him for guidance. When he gave the captaincy to Eric Staal, that could have been a problem and/or a major distraction. Instead, it was a positive step for the team as the vet was nothing less than classy during the transition. Staal's scoring took off and the club started winning a much higher percentage of games. Even at 39 years old, "Brindy" remains one of the top face off men in the league. His 58.8% was good enough for third best in the entire NHL last season.
The Bad: His stat line this past season was unacceptable for a player of his stature. Age: He seems a step or two slow and perhaps his reflexes are not what they used to be. While the lower number of minutes of time on ice seemed to better suit him, he's not really a prototype fourth line player. His plus/minus was almost twice as bad as his nearest teammate which probably means he was a liability on the ice.
The Money: Brind'Amour's cap hit is $3.6 million. He has one more year left on his five year contract and he is scheduled to earn $3 million next season. The forward signed his contract after he turned age 35, so his cap hit stays the same even if he retires or the Canes buy him out, although the team could save a million cash if they did buy him out. One way or the other, Jim Rutherford has stated that Rod Brind'Amour will have a spot waiting for him in the organization when he has finished his career.
The other centers on the team could certainly use his coaching in the face off circle.