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Brind'Amour Shares Special Day

No. 17 inks contract extension, wins Jack Adams Award on 17th

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / Hurricanes.com

That the 17th of June was a memorable day for the Carolina Hurricanes and the man whose No. 17 hangs in the rafters at PNC Arena wasn't intentional, but it certainly was cheeky happenstance.

First came a three-year contract extension for Rod Brind'Amour, who owns franchise-best .631 points percentage in his first three seasons as head coach and is the only bench boss in franchise history to lead the team to the playoffs in three consecutive seasons.

Then came the Jack Adams Award, as Brind'Amour became the first in franchise history to be recognized as the NHL's coach of the year.

"It's going to be tough to top this day," he smiled. "What more can I say? It's been good."

He put pen to paper on his contract extension on Thursday morning. That same evening, the Canes hosted a small gathering in the locker room at PNC Arena to recognize their NHL Award finalists - Jaccob Slavin (Lady Byng) and Alex Nedeljkovic (Calder) including - and see the winner of the Jack Adams Award revealed.

Brind'Amour's wife, Amy, and sons, Skylar and Reece, and his friends, were by his side when the award announcement was made - and for Brind'Amour, family always comes first.

Video: Brind'Amour wins Jack Adams, Coach of the Year

"I haven't left the rink since this morning," he said around 9 p.m. on Thursday. "It was nice to have most of my family here. … They did a nice thing here at the rink for us. It's a special day for sure."

It was a special day for No. 17 on the 17th, of all dates. Not to mention, it fell just two days prior to the 15th anniversary of the most iconic image in franchise history: Brind'Amour emphatically lifting the Stanley Cup high above his head.

"His face is really synonymous with the Hurricanes," said Justin Williams, who scored the empty-net goal in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final and was then captain of the Canes during Brind'Amour's first year behind the bench.

Since moving to North Carolina, the Canes have played 112 playoff games. Brind'Amour has been involved in 95% of those games: 72 as a player and 34 as head coach.

Video: Rod Brind'Amour signed three-year contract extension.

There's no person who has been singularly more integral to the success of this franchise than Brind'Amour.

He would undoubtedly bristle at that statement, downplay his role and deflect praise to those around him. That's just his humble character.

"He can be - if he wanted to be - a cocky, pompous, look-at-me, look-at-what-I've-done type of guy, but it's just not him, right?" Williams said. "He doesn't command respect, but he gets it because of the person he is and what he's accomplished. That's why everyone loves him and kind of wants him to be their coach. He's got that that little intangible stuff about him that makes you want to give him everything you've got."

The Canes did give him everything they had in 2020-21, as they finished atop the Central Division - the first divisional title since that 2005-06 season - with 36 wins and 80 points in 56 games. It didn't come without adversity, either, but with the poise of one of the NHL's best coaches, Brind'Amour guided his team through it. He's been there. He can relate.

"You have a coach who played and played as successfully as he did for such a long time. He grinded and can empathize with what most players are going through because he's done it himself," Williams said. "Roddy has been to the top of the mountain and experienced some great things in life and hockey. He's experienced the downs too, so kind of tempering those things and dealing with those things are some of his great qualities."

Qualities worthy of the Jack Adams Award, no doubt, which capped a special day for the Canes and Brind'Amour.

"This award really just feels to me like such an organizational award. … I almost think the better question is how do you not win it when you have what I get to worth with every day?" he said. "It's a good day for our organization because to me it says we're doing some things right."

(Now, about the Hockey Hall of Fame …)

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