As the Carolina Hurricanes continue to gear up for the 2018-19 season, a red sky has descended upon the Triangle. As the old saying goes, “red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”
Change from top to bottom has defined the summer of 2018 for the Hurricanes, who aim to end a nine-season playoff drought to become a perennial postseason contender.
The wheels of change have been turning for a few years now. But this summer they were kicked into high gear, spurred along by Tom Dundon. He acquired a majority ownership stake in the team in January 2018.
“What we’re doing today isn’t good enough, and we’re going to do better,” Dundon said at his introductory news conference. “What I was excited about is they want to do better. Everyone here that works at the arena and works for this team, they’re ready. They’re ready to do something better than they did yesterday, and I think we can. It’s not even a choice. We’re just going to do it.”
Since then, the ’Canes have retooled and restructured nearly every facet of the organization, on and off the ice, with the simple goal of becoming better.
A retooled hockey operations front office now features General Manager Don Waddell, who also continues to serve as the team’s president. Longtime hockey executive Rick Dudley was brought on board as the senior vice president of hockey operations, and Paul Krepelka, who brings 20 years of experience as an agent, serves as the vice president of hockey operations.
Together with Director of Player Personnel Darren Yorke, Vice President of Hockey Management and Strategy Eric Tulsky and others, the new-look front office is a collective brain trust that hasn’t rested on its laurels this summer.
The Hurricanes’ coaching staff also has been overhauled. Rod Brind’Amour, whose No. 17 resides in the PNC Arena rafters, was named head coach. Jeff Daniels, who won a Stanley Cup championship as an assistant coach with the Hurricanes in 2006, and another assistant who has yet to be named will join Brind’Amour behind the bench.