Is Rod Brind’Amour to Blame for the Carolina Hurricanes’ Powerplay Struggles?

The Carolina Hurricanes need a new power play coach.

The memory of Rod Brind’Amour holding the Stanley Cup high over his head will forever be ingrained in the minds of Carolina Hurricanes’ fans. There is no doubt Brind’Amour was a great player for the Hurricanes. The Ottawa native scored 473 points during his ten-year tenure with the Canes and number seventeen hangs from the rafters at PNC Arena.  However, could Brind’Amour be in over his head as an assistant coach with the Hurricanes? All signs point to yes.

The Hurricanes have an unfortunate history of rushing player development. Ryan Murphy and Elias Lindholm are recent examples. The Carolina front office expected both players to immediately contribute to the big club in Raleigh.  Could this be the case with Rod Brind’Amour’s coaching abilities? Like players, coaches need to gain valuable experience in the lower ranks before making the leap to the NHL.  Brind’Amour did not get this opportunity. The sixth-year assistant should have spent time honing his skills with the Charlotte Checkers before joining Carolina.

Brind’Amour is not ready to coach at the NHL level.

Rod Brind’Amour took over as the development and special teams coach for Carolina before the 2011-2012 season. At a meager 16.2 percent, the Hurricanes rank 30th in the league in powerplay percentage (PP%) during this span. League average is 18.1 percent. The Canes man-advantage is actually not an advantage at all. It has been in the top two-thirds of the league only once since Brindy started behind the bench. Some may blame the lack of talent for the Canes’ cellar-dwelling powerplay. This argument is invalid when the coach on the other end of the bench, Steve Smith, is icing a number one penalty-killing unit with the likes of Jay McClement and Ron Hainsey. The Hurricanes have more offensive firepower this year than they’ve had since Brind’Amour took over, yet the team is still at the bottom of the league in regards to powerplay percentage.

In a results-oriented business like the NHL, underwhelming performance does not go unnoticed. In ten years as Bruins head coach, Claude Julien led the team to seven playoff appearances and one Stanley Cup. He even won the Jack Adams Award in 2009. Boston relieved Julien of his coaching duties earlier this month after the Bruins stumbled out of the gate. The Islanders made the playoffs the last two years; however, they fired Jack Capuano only 42 games into the 2016 season. Rod Brind’Amour should be held to the same standard.

A Brind’Amour replacement should be on the horizon if the Canes want to contend.

There’s a strange taboo among Canes fans that no one is to criticize Rod Brind’Amour. Despite the fact that he is considered one of the greatest Carolina Hurricanes of all time he needs to be held accountable just like everyone else on the team.  After six years behind the bench, one would hope to see some improvement from his system. Just look at Wayne Gretzky in Arizona.  Gretzky was the best player to ever play the game yet failed horribly as a coach.  Some players just aren’t cut out to coach no matter how great they were at the game.

Canes fans need to stop looking at Brind’amour through Stanley Cup tinted glasses and acknowledge the facts. Because right now the Canes’ power play is worse than it was when Brind’amour first took the reins. Carolina would be wise to start looking for a replacement if they want to become perennial contenders. The results are simply not there to justify Brind’Amour coaching this unit any longer.