The Hurricanes held their end-of-season media availability with Rod Brind’Amour and Don Waddell Thursday, and wasted little time announcing that one of the team’s biggest pieces of offseason business had been taken care of. The team signed Brind’Amour, who was up for a new deal, to a three-year contract extension.
Brind’Amour a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year this season, has led the Canes to the playoffs in three straight years for the first time in franchise history, and to its first division title since 2005-06 this past season. He’s gone 120-66-20 in his three seasons, and his .631 points percentage is the highest by a head coach in franchise history.
“We truly believe we are truly headed in the right direction so we are very happy to get Rod signed to a long-term deal and we look forward to the next step,” Waddell said.
For Brind’Amour, there was never really any worry about getting a deal done.
“Not really,” he said. “I mean Don and I talk throughout the year. I thought we were on the same page so it was just a matter of time really. He knew I wanted to be a part of this and I knew he wanted me to be a part of it too. We figured it out.”
One of the main sticking points for Brind’Amour was making sure knew deals got done with his assistant coaches and support staff.
“We have a special group down here and for me to do this job to the best of my ability, it’s important to have the right people around me and I know what’s down here,” Brind’Amour said. “I know we have great training staff, equipment staff people, the coaches. That’s why I think part of it took so long because there were a lot of people we had to figure out. We’re at the point where we’ve pretty much done that and again it was important to me to have great people around. That’s why we have success down here is because of all the people that are working in everything. From [Doug Bennett] to [Bill Burniston], you go down the list, they’re all part of what we’re doing here. So to be honest with you, that’s probably what took so long.”
Elliotte Friedman has previously reported that Brind’Amour’s extension would be for $1.8 million per season. That’s obviously less than Brind’Amour could get on the open market, but for him, getting to stay and coach in a place he loves is about more than money.
“The finances and money, that’s part of it, but I feel like I’m the richest coach in the league,” Brind’Amour said. “I have a relationship with my owner and my GM that I don’t know if a lot of coaches get to have, to have the influence on who they’re picking up. And then I don’t know how many coaches can do their job where they live and where they’re from, and had a footprint in everything that’s gone on here over the last 20 years. I don’t know what kind of value you want to put on that. I feel pretty fortunate that I get to do that. It’s a special day for me because I know I’m going to be here for a few years at least. I kind of get his place right at the top of the food chain. The commitment that we have from [Tom Dundon], a lot gets said, but I know he wants to win. And that’s the kind of guy you want to work for.”