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'Canes add Brind'Amour, Lewis to coaching staff

Tuesday, 06.07.2011 / 1:38 PM / News

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

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'Canes add Brind'Amour, Lewis to coaching staff
Rod Brind'Amour, who had his number retired by Carolina this past season, comes aboard as an assistant coach along with Dave Lewis, while Ron Francis rejoins the front office.
Rod Brind'Amour knows it won't be easy convincing Carolina Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford to reconsider the dress code for those working behind the bench next season.

Brind'Amour will give it a shot, nonetheless, after he was named assistant coach and development coach by Rutherford during a press conference Tuesday at RBC Center in Raleigh. It was just one of a few managerial changes within the organization announced by Rutherford.

Additionally, Hockey Hall of Famer Ron Francis is headed back to the Hurricanes front office as Director of Hockey Operations, former NHL defenseman and head coach Dave Lewis has been added as assistant coach and Tom Rowe will work as a professional scout.

When asked if he'll be able to adjust coming to work in a suit and tie, Brind'Amour laughed.

"They gave me a new shirt to wear when I got here (Tuesday morning)," he said. "I had shorts on upstairs (on Monday), so we're working on that."

"In Dave's tenure in Detroit, I always thought they played a certain way that a lot of teams tried to emulate but couldn't get to. Look at the people he's coached with, including Scotty Bowman. Not only does he make our organization better, but he'll make the coaches in that room better." -- Paul Maurice on the addition of Dave Lewis to coaching staff

To which Rutherford replied, "We're working on your dress code."

Maurice is excited to have Lewis and Brind'Amour joining his coaching staff.

"I'm excited for our players and on a personal level, because when you get different ideas and different experiences into your group, it gives you a different opportunity to move forward," Maurice said.

Lewis, 57, joins the Hurricanes after a brief stint as head coach of the Ukraine men's national team -- a position he held since November 2010. The former standout defenseman played 16 seasons in the NHL with the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings, producing 36 goals and 224 points in 1,008 games.

Following his playing career, Lewis was head coach of the Detroit Red Wings for two seasons (2002-04) before taking the reigns as head coach of the Boston Bruins for one season (2006-07). He signed on as an assistant coach for the Kings in 2007-08. Born in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, Lewis has both Canadian and American citizenship.

"In Dave's tenure in Detroit, I always thought they played a certain way that a lot of teams tried to emulate but couldn't get to," Maurice said. "Look at the people he's coached with, including Scotty Bowman. Not only does he make our organization better, but he'll make the coaches in that room better."

Despite the fact Lewis was never employed by Carolina, he does have some ties with several people within the organization.

"I know (Hurricanes owner) Mr. (Peter) Karmanos, being from the Detroit area, and some of the great battles the Red Wings have had against the Hurricanes," he said. "The Hurricanes believe in the people they have and I've known Jimmy (Rutherford) for a long time since I played with him years ago in Los Angeles. Amateur scout Bert Marshall was my best man. The fact Paul was coach of this team also influenced my decision since his teams play with pace and passion; maybe not always with the results you want, but they're always in the game."

As director of hockey operations, Francis will work directly with Rutherford on all hockey-related matters. He initially rejoined the organization in November 2006 as the team's director of player development and was promoted to Assistant General Manager on Oct. 4, 2007. He then moved behind the bench with Maurice on Dec. 3, 2008, being named associate head coach. Francis played a big role in overseeing the team's power play in his two-plus seasons behind the bench.

Brind'Amour had served as the Hurricanes' director of forwards development in 2010-11 after retiring from his playing career on June 30, 2010. He'll continue to work with Carolina's prospects in his role as development coach. The Hurricanes retired his No. 17 jersey on Feb. 18. Rutherford said Brind'Amour wouldn't be behind the Carolina bench for all 82 regular-season games this season.

"That's something Rod and Paul will work on together," Rutherford said.

"This is the closest thing you could do to get closest to the action," Brind'Amour said. "Sitting out the year was fun but when Jim asked me if I wanted to get back into it a little more, it was something I think I really wanted to get my hand in. I'll be learning from Dave and (Maurice), the experienced guys here and I'll help wherever I can … it'll work well."

Maurice admitted he and his coaching staff will spend the summer determining the roles each will play.

"Ron Francis isn't going anywhere and he'll be involved in some of the ideas and the vision he had on the power play," Maurice said. "In terms of dividing responsibilities, that will happen as we move forward here a little bit. I think one of the strengths of this group will be that you have strong men with strong opinions and ideas. And they're able to articulate those ideas, so we'll use all our coaches as an influence in all areas."

Rowe, 55, who will assist Director of Professional Scouting Marshall Johnston, recently completed his third season as an assistant coach for the Hurricanes.

"These people aren't here just because they're good players or guys, all these people getting these jobs are good at the new position they'll enter and it makes the whole group a lot stronger," Rutherford said.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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