“At peace” Brind’Amour hangs ‘em up after 20 NHL seasons | Sports | Indy Week
Sports
INDY Week's sports blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on | Add on  

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

“At peace” Brind’Amour hangs ‘em up after 20 NHL seasons

Posted by on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 4:00 PM

The last time well post this overused file photo...*sniff.* File photo by Peggy Boone, IndyWeekBlogs
  • The last time we'll post this overused file photo...*sniff.* File photo by Peggy Boone, IndyWeekBlogs

No cutesy quips or memory-soaked remarks about his manic approach to working out or the primal scream he let out while lifting the Stanley Cup in 2006 — an image etched in the memory of North Carolina sports fans — will sum up what Rod Brind’Amour did for the Hurricanes over the last decade. From coming in (and not expecting to stay) under stressful circumstances to the few, frank words he uttered a few hours ago regarding his retirement, Brind’Amour did it his way.

“Get ready for the obvious,” Brind’Amour said wryly. “I will no longer be playing hockey, for the Hurricanes or anyone else.”

The former captain’s imminent retirement, while regrettable, was completely and totally necessary — like the proverbial band-aid that just needed to be ripped off. Though he insists he’s in the best shape of his life, the former two-time Selke winner was a baffling combined -52 in his last two seasons. They had already removed his captaincy and handed it to Eric Staal and the team was clearly looking to embrace a youth movement, but there were a few more pieces left to move. Going into tomorrow’s opening of free agency, Erik Cole — who was on hand at the press conference to support his former linemate — is an elder statesman on the Hurricanes team at just 31.

After his retirement, the Hurricanes bought out Brind’Amour’s contract and will pay him $2 million over two years. But according to Rutherford, it won’t free up any cap space. He is supposed to earn $3 million this season, and since he was 35 at the time he signed that contract, it remains on Carolina’s tab.

There was talk he might try another team for one final year if the ‘Canes bought him out, but Brind’Amour insisted that was never an option. It all happened as it should have, and his jersey will surely be up with his friend and mentor, Ron Francis, very soon.

This isn’t to say Brind’Amour’s gone for good. Though he spoke wistfully of “the things you don’t see on TV,” saying the camaraderie and sense of “brotherhood” were the things he’d miss more than the actual playing, Rutherford let him know he could stay on in any capacity he wanted. The ‘Canes GM said after Brind’Amour’s wedding and honeymoon next week, they’ll sit down and talk about what role he’ll play next year, if any. Glen Wesley, who beat Brind’Amour to retirement, is helping out with the team’s young defenseman…will Brind’Amour be on the ice any time soon?

One would assume that no matter what he does, his new office will be somewhere near the weight room.

“With my competitive nature, I’m probably going to do more than what they want me to do,” Brind’Amour said. “It might take a little while to figure out what that is. I’m open for everything.”

Samsonov is rumored to be on his way out. Whitney will test the free agency waters tomorrow. All that’s left of the Hurricanes are the bare bones, the pieces they’re looking to build on and a few with a little contract time left over, and Rutherford will have to fill out the rest tomorrow. Though he admittedly eschews free agency because often a team winds up paying too much, Rutherford's squad is looking a little thin. Unless he wants to pull up a lot of Charlotte Checkers (saying that will take some getting used to) or get to signing some RFAs, he’ll need to keep his phone charger on his person over the next few days.

Right now, this team looks like a hot mess. Brind’Amour retiring honorably was a good step, as was drafting undersized, potentially underrated Jeff Skinner seventh overall a few days ago. But Rutherford has been here many times before, and over the next few days we’ll see if we need to batten down the hatches for another year of lengthy losing streaks.

Tags: , , , , ,

Pin It
“Get ready for the obvious,” Brind’Amour said wryly. “I will no longer be playing hockey, for the Hurricanes or anyone else.”

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Sports

More by Kate Shefte

  • Staal gets a [hundreds of hats] trick in 'Canes' home finale

    Odd couple Chad LaRose and Eric Staal connected for nine points and the Hurricanes kept the Montreal Canadiens from clinching a playoff spot, 5-2. The Canadiens only needed one point to secure a berth.
    • Apr 8, 2010
  • Marty's party kicks 'Canes out of playoff contention

    RBC CENTER/RALEIGH — Martin Brodeur showed that, in spite of a few playoff hiccups, he still remembers how to school Carolina. He posted shutout No. 109 Saturday night and his team connected for four goals at Cam Ward's expense. Carolina went scoreless for the seventh time this year after being shut out once in the entirety of last season. It also dropped its third 4-0 contest of the last month. More importantly, the team is now officially out of playoff contention. Though Carolina would have lost a tie in the standings with Philadelphia, it had a chance with Boston. But Boston pulled away with a 2-1 overtime win over Toronto, putting the final nail in Carolina’s postseason coffin months after it was taken off life support when half the team was lost to injury or trade. Carolina has a bright future with NHL-ready players like Zach Boychuk and a potential top-three pick if the team blows the remaining three games on the schedule. Boychuk said he was taking notes during New Jersey’s convincing win tonight. “We’re a young team,” Boychuk said. “We can definitely learn from [the Devils] and use it for next year.” Maybe it was the weather, but walking into the building, you could close your eyes and swear it was a playoff game. However, with this performance, Carolina couldn’t have won the couch potato Olympics. An early goal took the energy out of the ‘Canes and Cam Ward wasn’t as solid as he’s been in his three games since returning from injury. Dainius Zubrus went in completely alone on a power play seven minutes into the first period and had an Old West-style gun draw with Cam Ward. Ward did his best rock wall impression but the puck found its way through his pads. The Carolina goalie looked genuinely pissed off after that one.
    • Apr 4, 2010
  • Justin Peters and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night

    • Mar 22, 2010
  • More »

Twitter Activity

Comments

I find myself not caring about any of this. Amazing how such a "strong, proud, powerful people" could lose the …

by 10yearwalk on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

Gaffe-r is right...he f8cks up all the time. "A lot of success over the last 3 years"....less smoke blows out …

by DonGarbageBlows on Colin Clarke returns as head coach of Carolina RailHawks (Sports)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Latest videos from the INDY

© 2015 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation