Jeff Daniels spent four seasons behind the Carolina Hurricanes’ bench as an assistant coach after retiring as a player in 2003. He won the Stanley Cup on Peter Laviolette’s staff in 2006, with a team captained by Rod Brind’Amour. Now, the Hurricanes’ new coach is counting on his former teammate to help get the team back there again.
The Hurricanes announced Monday that Daniels has been hired as an assistant coach, joining Steve Smith who will remain in that role on Brind’Amour’s coaching staff. Daniels was a Canes assistant until 2008 when he took over as head coach of the AHL Albany River Rats, staying with that franchise through its move to Charlotte in 2010 until he was reassigned in 2015.
Daniels has spent the past three seasons in player development and scouting, most recently serving as the Canes’ manager of pro scouting in the 2017-18 season. He was under consideration for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ coaching position that eventually went to Mike Johnston in the 2014 offseason, and while he spent seven seasons as an AHL head coach he has never held a head coaching position in the NHL.
Daniels was an original Hurricane, moving with the team to North Carolina in 1997 although he only played two NHL games that season, spending the majority with the AHL’s Beast of New Haven. After a season in Nashville where he was an expansion draft pick of the Predators, Daniels re-signed with the Canes in 1999, spending the final four years of his career mostly on the fourth line and helping the team to the Stanley Cup Final in 2002.
As noted above, the press release states that Daniels’ hiring completes Brind’Amour’s staff, meaning that Smith, goaltending coach Mike Bales, head trainer Bill Burniston and video coaches Chris Huffine and L.J. Scarpace will return to the Canes’ coaching staff next season.
The release from the team is below.
CANES NAME JEFF DANIELS AS ASSISTANT COACH
Served as assistant coach for 2006 Stanley Cup championship team
Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has hired Jeff Daniels to serve as the team’s assistant coach, completing the staff under Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour.
“Jeff has served as a head coach in the American Hockey League, and of course won the ultimate prize as an assistant on the NHL level,” said Waddell. “Rod has played with and under Jeff, so he has a great understanding for the experience and knowledge that he brings to the table.”
Daniels, 49, is in his 21st year with the Hurricanes, most recently serving as Manager of Pro Scouting. The Oshawa, Ont., native served as head coach of the team’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliates from 2008-15, posting a career AHL record of 268-225-51 in seven seasons with Albany and Charlotte. He was an assistant coach for the Hurricanes from 2003-2008, helping guide the team to a Stanley Cup championship in 2006. Daniels has also worked in player development and scouting for the organization.
Selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the sixth round, 109th overall, of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, Daniels played 425 NHL games with Pittsburgh, Hartford, Carolina, Florida and Nashville, winning a Stanley Cup title with the Penguins in 1992 and helping the Hurricanes reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2002.