Rod Brind’Amour holding up NHL coaching vacancies from being filled

Is Rod Brind’Amour holding up NHL coaching vacancies from being filled? There are currently four teams without a coach and another with an interim in place. The Rangers, Blue Jackets, Coyotes, and Kraken are looking for a new bench boss. The Sabres are deciding if Don Granato will stay or a better option is available.

The list of veteran qualified candidates looking to fill those vacancies include John Tortorella, Gerard Gallant, Rick Tocchet, Mike Babcock, Claude Julien, and Bruce Boudreau. There are also younger options like Patrick Roy, and freshly fired David Quinn available too.

Yet many of these teams could all be waiting to see if this year’s potential Jack Adams Award winner will become available.

Rod Brind’Amour holding up NHL coaching vacancies

The head coach of the Hurricanes is widely admired for his work behind the bench in Carolina. In his three seasons leading the Canes, his record is an astounding 120-65-20. That’s good for a .634 winning percentage.

So why has the 50 year-old coach become such a quick success? The Canes are not a perfect hockey team. They have some really good players, but no superstars. Brind’Amour still gets the most out of the group and keeps a strong positive vibe in the room.

Many point to his ability to relate to players as his biggest strong suit. It was basically just a decade ago when he played his final NHL game at the age of 39. Nine years later, he took the reins behind the bench after spending some time as an assistant and hasn’t looked back.

That’s why some teams looking for a new coach are not rushing to select Mike Babcock with his 700 career wins. Or John Tortorella the winningest U.S. born coach in history. They are waiting to see if this coaching gem becomes available.

Rod Brind'Amour holding up NHL coaching vacancies
Rod Brind’Amour fired for tirade (Charlotte News & Observer / Chris Seward)

Rod Brind’Amour wild card

Elliotte Friedman was on Sportsnet’s Headlines to discuss the Rangers firing of David Quinn and the subsequent search for a new coach. “We’re all expecting Rod Brind’Amour to go back to Carolina – it’s not done yet,” he noted. “If that goes sideways at all, I would think the Rangers would want to at least ask if he’d be interested.”

Yes, the Rangers and every other team I mentioned.

However, can a team like them wait for Brind’Amour who could be coaching well into June for a Stanley Cup? I don’t think they can afford too. Plus, by all accounts it sounds like Brind’Amour and the Canes are close to an extension and he wants to stay there.

It was just about a week ago that Friedman said the two sides were nearing a three year deal worth around $2 million per season. To further the point, Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon publicly said, “I have no interest in owning the team without [Brind’Amour] coaching it, so he’s going to coach it.”

The bottom line, until that ink is dry anything can happen. The mere possibility he could become available is likely to hold up some of these coaching vacancies from being filled.