The Hurricanes knew some personnel optics weren’t great last offseason.

If letting go of then-general manager Ron Francis and trading away Jeff Skinner were new owner Tom Dundon’s attempt to clean house, promoting franchise great Rod Brind’Amour from assistant to head coach might’ve seemed like cold feet.

Brind’Amour proved doubters wrong, initiating the culture facelift that sent the Hurricanes to the playoffs for the first time in a decade and all the way to the Eastern Conference Final.

It was a story of hard work, celebration and genuine camaraderie that intensified throughout the season. When it became clear that the team bought into his Grit and Grind plan, Brind’Amour would generally laugh along with the antics that came along with such a tight-knit group. One time he threw his hands up in the air and said that the room only got looser the more the team kept winning.

Click here to continue reading on The Athletic.