RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- The captain of the Hurricanes' 2006 Cup-winning team has his first head coaching job in the NHL, taking the next step in a career arc that during the past 18 years has brought him from team leader all the way up the coaching ladder - and all with Carolina.
" I know it's a huge opportunity and a huge challenge, but it's one that I feel real confident I can do." Rod Brind'Amour said as he was officially introduced as the Hurricanes new head coach on Wednesday.
"It's a job, but it's not," Brind'Amour said. "It means more to me."
The Hurricanes gave Brind'Amour a three-year contract, with team owner Tom Dundon declining to discuss the financial terms. But Dundon did praise Brind'Amour for his willingness to put his reputation on the line while trying to things around. Carolina hasn't made the playoffs since 2009, a nine-year drought that ranks among the longest in NHL history.
"He didn't need the job," Dundon said. "He's got a good life here, he's well respected and the risk that he's taking with his reputation and his legacy is real."
The Hurricanes have changed coaches three times and general managers twice since their last postseason appearance. Another of the franchise's greats - Hall of Fame player Ron Francis, like Brind'Amour a former team captain - was stripped of the GM's job during the season and last week had his contract terminated.
Brind'Amour said Dundon and team president Don Waddell, who also added the title of general manager during the shake-up, have "high expectations, which is huge.
"For whatever reason, our expectations have fallen a little bit here, and we need to raise those," he added.
He also wants to raise the effort level from the players, pledging to push them in much the same way he pushed his teammates during his time as team captain.
"We have a lot of guys in that room that need to give more," he said. "I think there's more there. ... They didn't produce the way they could produce. ... We're going to demand more from our players, at the end of the day, and I think they want that."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.