Yesterday’s report that coach Kirk Muller will be dismissed at the end of the year by the Carolina Hurricanes didn’t come as a huge surprise. After all, the team has struggled all three seasons under his guidance and big changes seem to be coming.
But that news has opened a whole new slew of questions. When it was announced by Raleigh News & Observer’s Chip Alexander that GM Jim Rutherford would step down at the end of the season, it was also reported that Ron Francis would be the next general manager.
A replacement was named with Muller’s news and who could be the next coach is a huge question as the offseason comes closer.
One option could be former captain and current assistant and development coach Rod Brind’Amour.
The 43 year old was a leader during his time with the Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues and always came off as a player that had the future of coaching in his cards.
Since summer 2011, he has been the assistant and development coach of the team and has some experience behind the bench of an NHL team. Playing 20 seasons in the league should also help him make a transition, if necessary.
Despite Brind’Amour’s illustrious career including captaining the 2006 Stanley Cup team and being a fan favorite, there are reasons against naming him the coach.
To begin with, he has no head coaching experience, in the NHL or otherwise. Usually that’s not a huge concern if a former player shows the skills of being the coach, but I have a feeling the Hurricanes will want to go with a more established coach.
Muller had no coaching experience in the NHL and only a few months under his belt as the head coach of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals when he was named the Canes’ head coach in November of 2011.
Nearly three years later, things have not gone the way anyone would have hoped for. Muller and Rutherford are about to be out the door after three seasons in a row without playoff hockey.
Because of this I suspect the Hurricanes would go after a more experienced coach, but I also think Brind’Amour could be a good in-house option if the team decides to go in that direction.