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Hurricanes' Rod Brind'Amour says he feels “really good” about signing a new contract with the team

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said Thursday he feels “really good” about signing a new contract with the team, adding to the optimism of president and general manager Don Waddell a day previously reflected.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said Thursday he feels “really good” about signing a new contract with the team, adding to the optimism of president and general manager Don Waddell a day previously reflected.

Brind'Amour — considered by many to be the face of the franchise because of his long-standing ties here, including captaining the 2006 Stanley Cup champions — is in the final year of a deal reached in 2021. His status has been a topic of conversation as he traverses the league and has several openings as Carolina prepares to face the New York Rangers in the second round of the NHL playoffs.

“Yeah, I had a great conversation with Don yesterday and again this morning,” Brind'Amour said. “I feel really good that we're going to figure it out quickly. Yes, I’m not worried.”

This came a day after Waddell said he was “very confident” the two sides would reach an agreement.

“We talk about it every day,” Waddell said in a Zoom call with reporters after the team’s first-round series victory against the New York Islanders. “As I said before, I am very confident that this deal will go through. Rod wants to be a Hurricane for life.

In an interview earlier this week with The News and Observer of Raleigh, team owner Tom Dundon said he believed the two teams were “just getting the last little things over with.”

Brind'Amour, 53, came to Raleigh from Philadelphia in January 2000 and played here until his retirement in 2010. He then spent seven seasons as an assistant coach before taking on the head coaching position for the first time in 2018.

That's when he proclaimed, “I bleed Hurricane red” — and then set about making Carolina a perennial winner.

Brind'Amour goes 6-6 to get the Hurricanes into the playoffs after the franchise went nine years without a postseason berth. Carolina has reached the Eastern Conference finals twice in the last five seasons and has finished second in the NHL overall in points and points percentage over the last four regular seasons, behind only Boston.

Tuesday's Game 5 win that eliminated the Islanders made Carolina the first team to win at least one series in six consecutive postseasons since Detroit did so from 1995-2000. According to Bet MGM Sportsbook, Carolina entered the playoffs as the favorite to win the Stanley Cup.

Carolinas center Sebastian Aho on Thursday shrugged off any notion that Brind'Amour's status could be a distraction.

“No, Roddy is coaching us this year,” Aho said. “I’m sure they’ll figure it out.”

Also on Thursday, the Hurricanes addressed at least one organizational need by signing a three-year affiliation agreement with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. Chicago was Carolina's AHL affiliate from 2020 to 2023 before opting for independence following the end of that contract.

The new agreement gives the Hurricanes control over the Wolves' hockey operational decisions and provides them with the opportunity to develop youth players. The Wolves won the Calder Cup in 2022 with a team consisting of current Hurricanes players such as defenseman Jalen Chatfield, forwards Stefan Noesen and Jack Drury, and goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov.

Since parting ways with Chicago, Carolina had parked prospects with teams in the AHL and ECHL.

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AP NHL Playoffs: and

Aaron Beard, The Associated Press




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