CORAL SPRINGS — When Skyler Brind’Amour makes his preseason debut on Monday night, he will see a familiar face behind the bench.
His dad, Rod, will be behind the bench of the Carolina Hurricanes as Skyler heads back to the rink he grew up watching his father play.
“It is going to be a little weird at first,” the 24-year-old forward said.
“But honestly, I’m not going to pay too much attention to him. I have to play the game and I’ll let him do his thing.”
Brind’Amour spent much of his childhood exploring every nook and cranny of PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. as his dad amassed 601 points (235 goals, 366 assists) in 633 games over nine seasons as a Hurricane.
After all of the games he watched there, he will play his first there on Monday night.
“I have skated there a bunch and I have watched a ton of games there,” Skyler said.
”But it will be a little different playing on it. And I’m excited.”
After years of watching his dad play and being coached by his dad, it will be the first time he will be going against his dad, as well.
”I’ve had him on the bench and he has given me a few death stares,” Brind’Amour said. “Hopefully he doesn’t give me any of those.”
Panthers coach Paul Maurice did not orchestrate this on purpose — after all, the Quinnipiac product has to go out there and make his case to the team in exhibition games at some point — but he understands how much this means to the Brind’Amour family.
Maurice coached Rod in Carolina on two separate occasions and really got to know the family in his tenure in Raleigh.
“He is already a proud dad and why wouldn’t be be?” Maurice said.
”Skyler is a fine young man, he is a hard-working, good person. He is very respectful of the people around him, so the most important job has already been done.
“Being the coach’s son isn’t the most favored position in the world because you could be hearing about every mistake you have ever made, but I don’t get that impression from Rod.”
With tons of friends and family in the building, Brind’Amour wants to leave a good impression on the Panthers.
He will get a lot of opportunity to, as Florida will be leaving most of its NHL-caliber players out of the lineup for the next three games before they start ramping things up ahead of the regular season, per Maurice.
“I don’t think one good game will get you a spot on the Florida Panthers,” Brind’Amour said.
”But you can show you can be out there, and for me, it’s my first preseason game and I’m excited to show I can stay out there and compete out there.”
And one thing Maurice wants Brind’Amour to do is not worry about the death stares from his dad — or him — during the game.
”He doesn’t need two NHL coaches,” Maurice joked.
Typically, coaches sons have refined games and limit the mistakes they make because that is what they are trained to do.
It was a staple of his game as he scored 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 41 games en route to a National Championship with Quinnipiac last season.
But Maurice wants to see something different out of Brind’Amour.
“When you have a well-coached son, he does not make mistakes,” Maurice said. “What I want to see Skyler do tonight is make three or four good ones — mistakes, not plays.
“Go out and play with a bit of freedom, not worrying about making the right play every time. There has to be a bit of risk built into everybody and there is a chance the coach’s kids do it right all the time.
”You just have to pick the right spots to anticipate something different.”
FLORIDA PANTHERS PRESEASON GAME 3 ROSTER
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
PRESEASON AT CAROLINA HURRICANES
- When: Tonight, 7
- Where: PNC Bank Arena, Raleigh
- TV/Radio: None
- Streaming: FloridaPanthers.com
LOOKING AHEAD FOR THE PANTHERS
- Friday: Preseason vs. Carolina, 6 p.m.
- Sunday: Preseason vs. Ottawa at Sydney, Nova Scotia; 4 p.m. (NHLN)
- Oct. 3: Preseason vs. Tampa Bay at Orlando Arena, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 5: Preseason at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 7: Preseason vs. Tampa Bay, 6 p.m.
- Oct. 12: Start of 2023-24 Regular Season at Minnesota Wild (BSF)
- Oct. 19: 2023-24 Home Opener vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (BSF)