CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — If you’re talking about the Florida Panthers, then you do have to talk about Bruno.
Narrowing down the specific details that have brought Andrew Brunette to this stage of his career is a challenge. Does it start with what he has done to be in the Jack Adams discussion? Or is it more about what got him there? Is his story more about the decision to leave the front office to give coaching one last shot, or is it about the path that led him to that choice?
Maybe it’s all of those things. Perhaps it’s none of them. It’s also possible that Brunette could just be another 48-year-old who avidly watches sports and is secretly fond of how his wife always helps rescue dogs — the latest has become his newest companion whenever they walk those sandy South Florida beaches.
This all seems like a lot, and it is. That’s why we have to talk about “Bruno.”
“I really wanted to find out: Is this something I want to do?” Brunette said. “Do I want to be a head coach in the NHL or was I just happy being an assistant? Do I want to go back to the player personnel side? … I was preparing myself not thinking this would ever come. But trying to gather as much information and get as much experience that if this is what I wanted to do, I’d be prepared for it.”