The Hurricanes picked up a big win Tuesday night with a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers, and will look to move into first in the division when they again host Florida on Thursday.
The team held a limited practice Wednesday, and Rod Brind’Amour spoke with the media before. Here’s a full breakdown of everything he had to say:
On Vincent Trocheck and playing well against your old team: Yeah, for sure. Especially early. The first couple times was always awkward. I actually didn’t play very well, so totally different than what [Trocheck]’s doing. But there’s a sense of you want to prove it to the team that let you go. I’m not sure that’s any motivation for him or not, but whatever it is, it’s been working.
On Brock McGinn: For Brock, I haven’t seen him yet. He was out today, so I can’t give you one on that. Tomorrow I’ll have more.
On if the Hurricanes have gotten their vaccines: We’re definitely on board for that. We’re in the process. We’ve had some guys get some, the first one. We’re definitely heading in the right direction there.
On Jordan Staal: It’s exactly what makes him so great for me. He comes to work every day. He does his job. Does it right. All you have to do, young kids, old kids, it doesn’t matter. You look over and see this guy, how he does it, every day, every shift, and it’s the way that we talk about doing it. It’s kind of hard to have a young guy say ‘No, I’ve got to do it my way’ when you see him doing it this way. That’s what leadership is. You can say it all you want, but you’ve got to walk the walk and talk the talk. You’ve got to do it right and he does it right. And he’s a great guy. That’s the other part of it. He cares about what he’s doing. We want to be hard-working and all that, but you’ve got to care about what you do and how you do it. Obviously he does that.
On Trocheck being a fit: That’s why we went and got him. We knew he was a good player, but some guys fit better than maybe even where they were. They didn’t quite have a need. We definitely had a need for a guy like him. He’s obviously done well for us, but there’s a lot to be said about the fit. Some guys are great players, they just don’t fit where they’re at. He definitely was a good fit for us.
On Jake Gardiner: He’s getting close. The unfortunate part is not having practice time, like real practices. I don’t count morning skates as real practice. That’s just kind of fluff in a lot of ways for a guy that’s trying to get back. He’s getting close. He feels a lot better. I think he said he still needed some time. He’s not an option right now, but I think he will be really soon.
On if they’ve made a decision on a starting goalie for Thursday’s game: No. It’s going to be a day-to-day thing. We’ll definitely know by later today, but for sure by tomorrow, obviously. Like I said the other day, we’ve got three great options and obviously [Petr Mrazek] played phenomenal last night and the night before, so we know he now looks like he’s full go in that mix now. So it’s going to be a day-to-day situation.
On vaccines: It’s a step in the right direction. It’s progress. It’s doing our part. I don’t want to get into it on all the political thing about it, but I think you’ve got to do your part here if you want to get back to some sort of normalcy. So I think that’s what’s kind of going on, and it’s great to see that it’s becoming available. You see it every day when we drive in the parking lot here, all these people doing all this work. And the organization, I don’t think it gets talked about enough how phenomenal these people are that are making this happen and have made it happen. We’re moving in the right direction, we’ve just got to keep doing the right things.
On getting his vaccine: I’ve got it. I don’t know if it was emotional. I felt grateful. There’s a lot of people that have done so much to get it. We don’t talk about it. We talk about a lot of negative, but all behind those scenes, there’s so many people that are giving of themselves to try to knock this thing out. I think as a society in general, the fact that we could do this this fast, to have some positivity would be nice. There’s so many people that are doing their part. I’m not doing my part by sticking my arm out, but if that’s what has to happen, I think we’ve got to do it.
On Vincent Trocheck being a fit and looking at intangibles for trade targets: That’s the crux of the whole thing. That’s scouting, that’s getting to know and not make wrong decisions. You can generally tell a player by watching his ability and this and that, but it’s getting to know him and really know what he brings to your locker room. You don’t ever really know, I guess, until you get them in there, but you can see by the way [Trocheck]’s played his whole career, he was competitive and he wanted to win. That certainly is what we got. We got a competitive player. We talk about it all the time. You have to be competitive to come into this locker room. We want those kind of players, but we also want guys like Jordan Staal that care about winning and care about putting the team first. He checks those boxes, as did Brady Skjei. To me, those were two big cogs. They fit those boxes. That’s why they fit here.
On if he feels bad for players and coaches in Canada who haven’t been able to get the vaccine: I’ve got family in Canada; I know the situation. It’s a little slower up there. I don’t know the reasoning, I’m not up to speed on that. You’re just hopeful that we can get it into everybody as quickly as possible.