RALEIGH, N.C. – Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour set the tone following the first day of on-ice sessions of training camp at PNC Arena on Thursday.
The message he relayed to local media during his in-person presser was clear – “it’s we, not me.”
With many new players on the camp roster with significant NHL experience, along with an ample stock of prospects and free agents, Brind’Amour indicated that anyone could make the team if they have the right attitude and put in the work to earn a spot.
After three years as a head coach capped off by a Jack Adams trophy win last season, he sounded very much like the more experienced and accomplished coach that he now is.
During those formative years, his pace in answering questions from the media was mindful and selective, indicating many times that he and his team were feeling things out.
He didn’t exhibit any bravado or overconfidence in doing so – not his style.
The points of emphasis always included putting in the effort and energy in doing the ‘little things’ together to win.
Don’t just say it, feel it
Hard work and effort were the tenets of success.
That philosophy still holds; thus the Team Attitude and Team Energy labels to define the two playing groups at camp this year.
But those are just descriptive words of what needs to be done and how to do it.
Brind’Amour referred to ingraining ‘culture’ as an intrinsic appreciation of the process.
He was very clear in pointing out that he wants his players to ‘feel it’, and commit to the collective goal.
Not just because he says so, but rather to understand it individually and be willing to sacrifice personal gain for team success.
Knows what he wants
From an X’s and O’s perspective, Brind’Amour knows what works for him – he’s been able to sell his core players on that incrementally for the past three years.
They’ve bought in.
For the new guys, the parameters are set, and all they have to do is simply play within them according to the coach’s direction and guidance.
Otherwise, someone younger and hungrier will get the chance to do so.
The trust of the players is a valuable commodity for a head coach to possess in the NHL.
So is exhibiting the ability to lead confidently and have a team follow the set plan without question.
The stakes are high, and so are the rewards.
Brind’Amour has his hands full in bringing so many up to speed, but the players know that he’s ready to and will carry that load.
And they better be ready to shoulder it right along with him.
Peter Koutroumpis – 401-323-8960, @pksport