Coach Brind’Amour. That sounds so formal for our former captain and newly anointed assistant coach. I think I like it. Mike Maniscalco introduced Brind’Amour as the guy that was running for Mayor of Raleigh and Governor of North Carolina. John Forslund started the questioning with the standard “How was your summer?” variety. Roddy said he has been laying low and getting ready to get started. I have heard Roddy speak in interviews before about becoming a coach but I don’t recall ever hearing him say “I don’t think coaching was something I was looking forward to doing…right away.” Obviously he recovered from the beginning of the statement but that really struck me. He talked a lot about his former role with the team as Director of Forwards Development saying “I definitely wanted to be able to have more say. I wasn’t helping this team win or lose and you want to be invested all the way.” It sounded like the position wasn’t very fulfilling personally or professionally.
In his new role he expects to have the biggest impact during practice where he hopes to see scrimmages. “You can do two-on-ones all you want but you gotta play.”
This would be the point of the address where I was sadly disappointed there was no video as a child toddled on stage and Roddy said “Crowd control!” I am relying on eyewitnesses to let me know the age of this little fella. Rumor has it the kid was quite cute.
Like Rosey, Brind’Amour took questions from the fans including one about our poor face-off percentages last season and why he didn’t help improve this. Rod answered simply with “I didn’t have a lot of impact with the major league team.” Once again I got the impression that he really wasn’t crazy about his previous role.
The night was not all talk of Rod and Rosey. When asked what impressed him about our wunderkind Jeff Skinner, Rod said “The fact that he was so confident with the puck. He looked like a 10 year guy” noting that he was “shaky at first” which was to be expected. Then came the part I dreaded hearing. Teams know to go after Eric Staal and now they are gonna go after Skinny.
Rookie Camp was also discussed where Rod graciously did not comment on Chad sucking wind. He did however notice that lots of Caniacs were in attendance. Training Camp talk included comments like “Jeff Skinners and Eric Staals are going to make the team” but that others were going to have to work for it. It sounded like he wasn’t truly convinced of this youth moment being the answer to everything. He tossed around names of guys to watch including Zac Dalpe, Drayson Bowman and Chris Terry. What stood out to me was no mention of Zach Boychuk (Has he not heard him mic’d up? He’s the second coming of Chad!) but Terry was thrown in the mix. Recommendation for guys wanting to make the show? Go to Pete Friesen’s conditioning camp before training camp. (Watch the captions CLOSELY here. You won’t regret it.)
When asked about which of the newest Canes he thinks will have the most impact he noted Tomas Kaberle and that Brian Boucher might have a big impact giving Cam Ward a break. Did you forget about Brian Boucher? Everyone is on the Tim Brent/Anthony Stewart bandwagon (guilty as charged) and seems to have forgotten that we have someone to give Cam a break! “Cam Ward has to be great.” Don’t we know it. No pressure Boosh.
Rod has not even coached his first game and he was already being asked about wanting to be a head coach. This part of the State of the Canes reminded me why I love this team so much.” I am a head coach because I am coaching my son’s team.” The phrase “character guy?” I think we just spotted one. He sounded like the Rod Brind’Amour we know and love while talking about youth hockey. “I had to cut a couple of kids and that was not fun. Not fun to cut 12 year old kids.” The Canes organization gives him flexibility to not travel so he can have a family life. I like it. He tossed out a couple of names other coaches he works with in youth hockey including former Hurricane Steve Halko and the Raleigh IceCaps’ own Lyle Wildgoose. Raise your hand if you used to go to IceCaps games in Dorton Arena!
Other items of note from the address? Brind’Amour means “A little love” in English. John Forslund thinks Cory Stillman is going to retire. He also said that with the re-alignment Winnipeg will go West and Columbus and Detroit will come to the Eastern conference. Maniscalco reminded us that could mean a visit from everyone’s favorite bathrobe wearing ginger, Mike Commodore!
What did you think of the State of the Canes? Did you get the same read on Rod’s answers? Did you know Mike Commodore is 6’5″? Talk to us in the comments!