Hurricanes bring back Daniels as assistant coach

Former Carolina player was an assistant on Peter Laviolette's staff during 2006 Cup season

RALEIGH — Jeff Daniels, who has spent the past 21 seasons in the Carolina Hurricanes organization as a player, assistant, AHL coach and scout, will join former teammate Rod Brind’Amour as an assistant on the first-time coach’s staff.

Daniels, 49, was an assistant coach on the Hurricanes’ 2006 Stanley Cup-winning team captained by Brind’Amour, and both reached the Cup Final in 2002 as teammates.

“Jeff has served as a head coach in the American Hockey League, and of course won the ultimate prize as an assistant on the NHL level,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said in a press release announcing Daniels’ hiring. “Rod has played with and under Jeff, so he has a great understanding for the experience and knowledge that he brings to the table.”

Daniels fills the vacancy created by Brind’Amour’s promotion after coach Bill Peters opted out of the final year of his contract and eventually took the head job with the Calgary Flames. Daniels joins longtime NHL defenseman Steve Smith and goalie coach Mike Bales, both carryover the Peters’ era, on Brind’Amour’s staff.

A draft pick of the Penguins in 1986, Daniels won a title in Pittsburgh as a player in 1992 and later played for Florida, Hartford, Nashville and Carolina. That included playing in all 23 of the Hurricanes’ playoff games in 2002 when the team reached the Stanley Cup Final against the Detroit Red Wings, losing in five games.

After retiring following the 2002-03 season, Daniels stayed with the organization and served in several roles, including being an assistant coach under both Paul Maurice and Peter Laviolette from 2003 to 2008.

Daniels was then named head coach and general manager of the Albany River Rats, then the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate, and guided that team for two seasons before it relocated to Charlotte and became the Checkers. He held the same role with the Checkers for four seasons until 2015, when his coaching contract was not renewed.

He joined the Hurricanes as a scout and most recently was the team’s manager of pro scouting.