First of all, someone give me a medal, because this post isn’t just “ROD BRIND’AMOUR IS A FULL-TIME ASST COACH NOW OH HAPPY DAY!!!!”
I mean, Brind’Amour is a full-time assistant coach now. Oh happy day. But also, Ron Francis is moving up to being VP of Hockey Ops, Cory Stillman is Director of Forward Development, Greg Stefan is returning as a goalie coach, and Tom Barrasso is shifting to being a pro scout.
Francis’s role most likely won’t be changing much from what he did last year; but the other changes are significant. Pretty much everyone within the organization and quite a few people outside of it talked about how good Barrasso was for Cam Ward, but he won’t be in that role anymore; it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s connected to the down year Ward had, and the Hurricanes both not wanting to let Barrasso go, but knowing a change is important. Someone with that much experience with goalies would help the scouting team, too, since Murphy’s out of the system and there’s a hole at backup waiting to be filled, pointing to needing to obtain another goalie sometime in the next couple years (well, technically Boucher’s still there, but raise your hand if you think he’ll have a job with the Hurricanes proper next year).
Overall, I think these are good changes. The Hurricanes are slowly moving to the point where they can make necessary adjustments without sacrificing their “we’re a family” ethos. Brind’Amour reportedly did well as a part-time assistant coach last year; it’s almost entirely due to him that the Hurricanes stopped being so legendarily terrible at faceoffs, for example. And Ron Francis brings a passion to his position that could well see him succeeding Rutherford someday.
Here’s the link to the press release: click. An excerpt:
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced changes and restructuring for the team’s hockey operations department.
Several staff members have received contract extensions and promotions. Ron Francis, who is entering his seventh season in the team’s front office, has been promoted to Vice President of Hockey Operations. Jason Karmanos, in his 15th year with the Hurricanes, is now Executive Vice President and Assistant General Manager. Rod Brind’Amour joined the team’s front office in 2010, and will serve as a full-time Assistant Coach in 2012-13. Assistant Coach Dave Lewis and Director of Defensemen Development Glen Wesley also each received contract extensions.
“We feel that the staff we have assembled in our hockey department is stronger than ever,” said Rutherford. “I am very fortunate to have Ron working with me on a day-to-day basis in the front office. With Rod coaching full time and Dave agreeing to an extension, our coaching staff is solidified with a tremendous amount of experience.”