Brind’Amour On His Low-End Canes Contract:
“It’s Not Going To Be An Easy Negotiation”

By David Glenn
North Carolina Sports Network

When Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon hired Rod Brind’Amour in May 2018, it made sense that Brind’Amour ranked among the lowest-paid head coaches in the National Hockey League.

Dundon was the first-year owner of a downtrodden, small-market franchise that had missed the playoffs for nine consecutive seasons, marking one of the longest postseason droughts in NHL history, and Brind’Amour had never been a head coach — at any level.

Brind’Amour’s initial head coaching contract paid him $600,000 a year. That made him the lowest-paid NHL head coach, and there were even some veteran assistant coaches with slightly higher salaries in those early years of the deal.

A 2021 contract extension raised Brind’Amour’s salary to about $1.8 million a year. Nevertheless, despite a five-year head coaching résumé (226-107-37 regular season, five straight playoff trips, six postseason series victories) that arguably ranks among the top half-dozen active NHL coaches during that period, his salary remains among the bottom 10.

“I know it’s not going to be an easy negotiation,” Brind’Amour told David Glenn of the North Carolina Sports Network and the David Glenn Show. “I can tell you that.”

During the upcoming 2023-24 season, which will begin with training camp in mid-September, Brind’Amour is scheduled to receive only 36-40 percent of what the highest-paid NHL head coaches will make.

Top 10 NHL Coaching Salaries*

Head Coach, Team, Reported 2023-24 Salary

1. Todd McLellan, Los Angeles Kings, $5 million
2. Peter Laviolette, New York Rangers, $4.9 million
3. Bruce Cassidy, Vegas Golden Knights, $4.5 million
4. Peter DeBoer, Dallas Stars, $4.25 million
5. Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning, $4+ million
6. Mike Babcock, Columbus Blue Jackets, $4 million
7. John Tortorella, Philadelphia Flyers, $4 million
8. Paul Maurice, Florida Panthers, $3.9 million
9. Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues, $3.5 million

10. Martin St. Louis, Montreal Canadiens, $3 million

*-contract details not available for every NHL head coach

Making sense of the “cents” now, with the Hurricanes going five-for-five on playoff appearances (and two trips to the Eastern Conference finals) under Brind’Amour and the coach heading into the final year of his revised deal, is an entirely different matter.

“You sound like my wife now: ‘You should be paid like that guy,’” Brind’Amour said, laughing.

“Everyone wants to be treated fairly. I think, at the end of the day, your salary is one area, but there’s a ton of other areas. There’s my relationship with my team and my owner and how we get to decide on who stays. I don’t know that any coach, in any sport, has what I have (with the Hurricanes). So that’s maybe priceless in some regard.

“I don’t want to sell myself short, because that’s kinda what you’re doing (when you speak openly about your strong preference to stay), but everyone knows — I’ve made no bones about it — this is my team, this is my home. How many guys get to coach where they live and coach the team that they played on? What’s that worth to you? That’s a lot.

“I also look at the team that I have. We’ve talked about it. You know some of these guys. It’s not always about the other thing (money).

“So, yes, you gotta be treated fairly. I know Tom’s a business guy. If he can get somebody for a nickel, he’s gonna do it, right? (Laughs.) I’m sure we’ll work all that out at some point.”