Rod Brind’Amour said he hopes to get a new contract to remain coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, but is focused on this season.
“I’d love to get something done so I know I’ll be coaching here, but that’s kind of out of my hands to be quite honest with you,” Brind’Amour said Tuesday. “I love this group and I love doing it.
“I really do focus on right now and I don’t have a long-term plan with me as far as what I’m doing. I feel that’s almost irrelevant. Coaching right now, that’s the priority.”
He said questions about his contract have not been a distraction.
“I think it would be more [distracting] for players, for sure,” the 50-year-old said. “You put it aside and do you job, but they also know every game is impacting, potentially, the contract. I can see where that becomes an issue as a player. You try to put it off.”
Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said he is confident a new contract will get done but finding time to discuss with Brind’Amour has been an issue.
“Pinning Rod down and getting an hour to talk about this is, like, nearly impossible,” Waddell said in comments published by The Athletic on Friday. “He’s worried about his coaching this team. So a couple of times in the road, we grab some time and that. So you know, I know he’s not worried about it. We’re not worried about it. We’ve had enough talks to get us to a point where I think we’re all feeling like we’ll get this done.”
Brind’Amour was named Hurricanes coach May 8, 2018, replacing Bill Peters, and is 107-61-15 in the regular season. He guided them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in his first two seasons, going to the Eastern Conference Final in 2019. Carolina visits the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV) one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for first in the Discover Central Division.
“I’m going to coach my team here as best I can, no matter what, so hopefully we get something done,” Brind’Amour said. “We’ll see how that all shakes out, but that’s certainly not a distraction.”
Brind’Amour played the final 10 of his 21 NHL seasons for the Hurricanes. He won the Stanley Cup in 2006 and was captain from 2005-06 until being replaced by Eric Staal on Jan. 20, 2010.