Twenty-three years ago today, the Carolina Hurricanes with their captain at the time, Keith Premo, in a contract holdout, needed to do something to get all of that resolved. And Jim Rutherford, the president and general manager at the time, decided we were going to trade Keith Premo to the Philadelphia Flyers for Rod Brind'Amour. Right away, we told them if there was a deal in Philadelphia, it had to be Rod Brind'Amour. It was twofold. They didn't want to trade him, and he was hurt.
He had a broken ankle or a broken foot. And we said, that's fine. We'll just wait. We'll wait till it heals.
And time went along. It hadn't totally healed, but we got to a point where Keith didn't return to the team. And we told Philadelphia we were going to make a move at that point, and we would take Rod despite the fact he was still trying to get through this injury.
And the key to that was we knew he was a good player, a good two-way player, but also, again, it was the culture of our team and the leadership and those things that you need to win. That's Jim Rutherford, the president and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes at the time. He's now with Vancouver. Eric Cole is a Hurricanes legend, and he joins us on the Adam Gold show.
Don't laugh. And you played with Rod Brind'Amour as a rookie. You played on his line, the famed BBC line, you and Bates Pataglia, along with Rod Brind'Amour. So your thoughts on the 23rd anniversary of Brind'Amour becoming a Hurricane and what it's all meant? Well, I mean, it probably has to be the best trade that the organization has made.
I almost think you could lump in Hartford with that as well, just because, especially the last few years there in Hartford, they were selling off pieces with regularity. So, yeah, definitely a huge moment with the Hurricanes organization. I think at the time, there was certainly some questions and getting him to sign an extension, I think was probably even more important or as important as the initial trade.
Eric Cole is joining us here. So what was it like to play with Rod? I mean, he wasn't legendary at that point, although he was already established as a great player. What was it like to play with him and the responsibility that was?
Well, yeah, you learned a lot of the nuances of the game and being a pro. I mean, obviously everyone knows the track record with his condition and how hard he liked to push in the gym and away from the ice. But he was just as hard on the ice and practices and everything, equally almost. And there's just so many little things that he taught me in that rookie year, just what to look for with getting the puck on the wall. And I was playing my offside and he's like, just let that guy come hit you. And he's like, just slide it.
He's like, slide it in between his stick and his skates and I'll be coming through there. And that was part like, and then of course, like one of the big things with Roddy was, he really took a lot of pride in his face off percentage. And so if that pocket anywhere near your vicinity and you didn't win that pocket, man, you heard about it when you got back to the bench. So it was, you know, just a lot of like the little details that he was just so, so good at and, you know, paid a lot of attention to.
And I think that all of those, you know, little details added up to, you know, to bigger things. As a young player playing with it, by the way, it's not lost on me that Rod would say, let him hit you so he could get the puck. But I mean, that's just, that's called, that's called vet. That's got, that's a veteran move right there. But you're, you're 23 here.
You take the hit. So, but as a young player, was there more pressure because of, I don't know about the aura, but because of the way Rod looked at the game, was there more pressure on you to live up to a certain standard? I think, I think I had, I had put some pressure on myself as it was. And so then, you know, when Shane Willis was going through training camp with a back injury and, you know, originally in training camp, it didn't look like there was going to be much opportunity for any of us that played in the minors the season before, um, you know, we started out the training camp with a split squad. Half the guys were in Florida, half the training staff coaches, you know, like, um, it was, uh, it was, it was very, you know, unorganized, um, and not to anyone's fault, but, um, but it was, you know, it was difficult for those that first probably week before, you know, the, the flights were, were allowed to, to travel again. It was, I think there was nine or 10 of us on the ice, you know, beating a snot out of one another. And then, and then the group that played for the hurricanes last year, and they're out there, you know, up and down the ice and, you know, uh, got some slow to their practice and they're, you know, they're, they're working on things. And, uh, for us, it was just, you know, kind of a war of attrition. They just throw a puck in the corner and be like, go get it.
Right. Um, so yeah, it was, uh, it was, it was difficult, um, circumstances. So when, you know, and got to the, you know, through the, through the preseason as it continued and, um, you know, I couldn't, I couldn't buy a goal to save my life. I had some really good chances.
Um, and, and I was playing hard. Um, but when, when I, when I got word that I was going to make, you know, the opening night roster and, you know, I was going to be slotted, you know, on the ice with, with Roddy and, and Marty Jelena, that was, uh, it was a pretty, pretty big deal for me. And, um, yeah, just, I think I, you know, just, I had a ton of nerves as it was, I don't think it was, if anything, Roddy kind of calmed my nerves because he had been so good with me, the training camp before, and then, you know, even coming in that year, you know, he was one of the first guys when I showed up, uh, you know, that first week down here in August to train, you know, he was one of the guys that came up to me and, uh, you know, said hello, asked how things were going, you know, how my, how my season was, how my off season was all that. So, uh, so he, he kind of put you at ease and, you know, he made it, you know, he made it easy to, you know, to, to, to play with him because, you know, he was constantly, you know, talking to you.
We get back to the bench and we talk about like what I'm seeing, what he's seeing. So he was, uh, he was a really great leader in that regard. Yeah. And in that regard, uh, it's kind of surprising that there were any doubts about his ability to translate as a head coach, because it seems to me that he coaches and I mean, you'd never played for rod, but it seems to me that he coaches exactly how he wanted to be coached as a player.
No. Yeah, I think so. I think, uh, what, what's fun, like for me to watch is, you know, when you get the little snippets of, um, you know, some of the postgame speeches, um, and, you know, just him, you know, commanding the room and working room because he didn't, he didn't do that a lot as a, as a player, as a captain, he didn't need to, you know, like when he did, you know, it really meant something like, you know, before game seven, it's been well-documented that, you know, he was the guy that, that stepped up and said something, but, you know, he didn't address the entire room a ton. Um, but he always had, you know, little conversations with, you know, guys one-on-one and he was, he was always, you know, leading by example. So, so he never really needed to, you know, say much more than it was just kind of like, Hey, this is what we're doing. You know, this is, this is how we, this is how we operate around here. And I think, um, you know, when, when you have a guy like that and you have a, an organization and a front office and a coaching staff that, you know, all supports, you know, the, the way that he led and, you know, it was, it was something that, you know, kind of, it didn't really need to be, to be spoken of. It was just like, Hey, this, this is it.
Like you just, you follow what this guy does. Eric Cole is joining us here on the Adam Gold show. It's, it's, it's almost cliche, uh, to talk about what Rod has meant to this organization. And 23 years ago today was the day of the trade where Keith, uh, Keith Primo for Rod, there were others involved in that trade, but it was really Keith Primo for Rod Brind'Amore. Um, I, apparently I am, uh, there was also a draft pick involved.
Uh, we're, we're, we're going to discount all of that. I almost feel bad for Keith Primo, who was a very good player. Um, because it's real, it was a one sided, one sided trade. Is there anybody that you can think of who was as much as important to their franchise as Rod was, is to this one? Well, yeah, I mean, the most glaring one is, is Mario and Pittsburgh. And I can say that because I was a huge, you know, growing up and you know, like, I mean, He did save the franchise. There's no question.
Yeah. Like, I mean, it's, there's a, you know, from, from the moment he was, he was drafted and, uh, and even still to this day. So, um, so that, I mean, yeah, that's, that's one right there that you, that you look at and you're like, but there's, you know, there's, there was just so many, um, so many great players that, you know, came out of that era that, um, you know, late eighties into the, into the nineties and seven. And I mean, if you want to go back further, you look at, you know, the original six and, you know, just beyond that, like, you know, how, how important some of those guys were just, you know, just, you know, those guys for me are just, you know, and they're, they're iconic names across, you know, the hockey world. I don't know that Roddy's necessarily like an iconic name across the entire hockey world, but, you know, certainly for anyone that played against him and played with him, we all kind of have that inside view, uh, you know, about him because his numbers don't, you know, necessarily jump off the page at, at you. But, um, but yeah, I mean, what he's done, um, you know, as a part of this organization for so many years is, uh, it's, it's been great. He's, he's probably, he's made one of the, one of the biggest contributions for sure.
All right. Final thing for Eric Cole, a hurricanes legend and a friend of mine. I love, uh, I love talking to you, getting perspective on this, um, Rod's biggest trait. It bothers me when they, like I'm listening to NHL radio and they call him Rod the bod, uh, as though that he's just basically some guy, uh, drinking creatine shakes, uh, and pumping iron in the gym. Um, there is a, he's got tons of hockey skill. He has scored tons of big goals. Is his ability as a player was his ability as a player underrated? Yeah, I think, I think in some, in some regards it was, it was usually kind of overshadowed by some of the other things that he did so well. Um, and he also, you know, he played in certain roles where, um, you know, there was, you know, usually a bigger number one, you know, centerman playing in front of him.
Right. So, you know, so I think that, you know, if anything, that's kind of where maybe he got a little bit overshadowed or, or overlooked, but again, for the people that, you know, played with them and played nose to nose against them. Um, you know, I, I think that, you know, as a, as a group, as a group, like he, he certainly earned everyone's respect, uh, for, for what he did as a player. Pretty great player. Pretty fan, uh, fantastic coach.
Uh, Eric Cole, also a pretty great player. Uh, can't wait to induct you into the Carolina hurricanes hall of fame one day. Yeah, I would be honored.
So, all right, well, uh, I will speak in a new existence, sir. I appreciate your time always, man. Uh, I'll talk to you soon. I'll see you at the rink at some point. Yeah, for certain. All right, take care.
Eric Cole here on the Adam gold show. All right. So think about being a rookie and playing next to rock, right? Think about that. And Bates Pataglia wasn't a rookie, but was a young player. Uh, also when we got to the playoffs, put in that role.
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