Local Carolina Hurricanes start 2018-2019 NHL season with new head coach

Ryan Silver, Layout Assistant

After a rather disappointing season in 2017-18, the Carolina Hurricanes fired head coach Bill Peters after four seasons with a .498 win percentage and a record of 36-35-11 in his final year. Dan Waddell, team president and general manager, hired Rod Brind’amour as the new head coach, after he had been an assistant coach for the past seven seasons.

“Rod’s fresh ideas, ability to motivate and understanding of what it takes to bring a championship to Raleigh will help our young team take the next step toward competing to bring the Cup back to North Carolina.” said Waddell.

Brind’amour was formerly a hockey player in the NHL for 20 seasons, playing half of them for the Hurricanes. As a captain during the 2005-06 season, he led the team to win the Stanley Cup. Now, as a head coach, Brind’amour hopes to help Carolina return to the title conversation.

So far, the Hurricanes are off to a 6-3-1 start, good enough for second in the Metropolitan division of the NHL. With help from veterans such as Justin Faulk, defenseman, and Jordan Staal, centerman, the Hurricanes are playing with an energy that has been unseen in Carolina in  recent years.

“This is the first time in years that I’ve been excited to watch the team play. They have a lot of energy and it’s been showing on the ice. I think this will be one of our better seasons since 2009,” said Scott Maxwell, math teacher at Athens Drive.

A notable improvement has been the amount of shots on goal the team has been getting, even in their losses. In an overtime game against the New York Islanders to start the season, the team lost 2-1, but won the shots on goal battle, 46-20. The team has outshot every opponent they’ve faced so far, most by double digits.

“They seem to be a faster skating team and more aggressive,” said Maxwell.