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A New Charge

Panthers hire Kevin Dineen as their 11th head coach in franchise history.

Wednesday, 06.01.2011 / 4:58 PM / News
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A New Charge
By Alain Poupart for

Kevin Dineen

Dineen Named Head Coach

Official Release - Florida Panthers
Panthers Executive Vice President & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that Kevin Dineen has been named the 11th head coach in the club’s history.

Press Conference (Audio)
Press Conference (Photos)
Press Conference (Video)
EJ Hradek On Dineen Hiring (Video)

Season Team Lge W L OT Pct
2005-06 Portland AHL 53 19 8 .713
2006-07 Portland AHL 37 31 12 .538
2007-08 Portland AHL 45 26 9 .619
2008-09 Portland AHL 39 31 10 .550
2009-10 Portland AHL 45 24 11 .631
2010-11 Portland AHL 47 24 9 .644

Totals 266 155 59 .616
The Panthers weren’t lacking for candidates to become their new head coach, but General Manager Dale Tallon said one conversation with Kevin Dineen was all he needed to know he had found his man.

Tallon made that clear on Wednesday afternoon when he introduced Dineen as the Panthers’ new head coach.

“We talked to a lot of people about our opening and the minute I met Kevin, I knew he was the guy,” Tallon said. “You look into his eyes, you can see passion, you can see caring, compassion, integrity, class, dignity, all those things that we want our players to be like.”

They were all characteristics Dineen demonstrated during a stellar NHL playing career that spanned parts of 19 seasons.

As a coach for the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League the last six seasons, Dineen demonstrated the ability to develop young talent.

He guided young stars like Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Dustin Penner before they moved to the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks, then coached the last three winners of the AHL Rookie of the Year award — Buffalo farmhands Nathan Gerbe, Tyler Ennis and Luke Adam.

“Our players are going to love playing for Kevin,” Tallon said. “We want our players to learn, we want our players to care and we want our players to play hard every shift of every game. And no one personifies that more than him.”

Dineen’s philosophy as a head coach is pretty simple.

“It doesn’t as much begin with what and where as it is with who,” he said. “And to steal an American League analogy, it’s when you get on the bus, it maybe not be where that direction is, but it’s who is on that bus.

“Our goal is to make this a quality place to play, give you a chance to win and to grow together. I see my role as trying to make this a great work environment. Every day at the rink is going to be an educational day. Even if it’s a practice day, we’re there to get better.”

For Dineen, taking over as Panthers head coach represents a great opportunity, one that seemed inevitable given his pedigree and his resume.

“Somewhere down the line, I felt like there may be opportunities, but at the end of the day it wasn’t something that I sweated at all,” Dineen said. “I really enjoyed the players that I’ve had and the people I’ve worked with, doing our business. And I think when you’re wrapped up in that, things eventually take care of themselves and it culminates in today.”

A native of Quebec City, Dineen comes from one of the most prominent hockey families.

His father, Bill, was a two-time NHL All-Star with the Detroit Red Wings who later was head coach of the Flyers for a season and a half at the time Kevin played for Philadelphia.

His brothers Gord and Peter also played in the NHL. Gord is currently an assistant with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, while Peter is a scout for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Brothers Shawn and Jerry played minor league hockey — Shawn is now a professional scout with the Nashville Predators, where he worked with Panthers assistant general manager Mike Santos; Jerry is the video coach of the New York Rangers.

“We talked to a lot of people about our opening and the minute I met Kevin, I knew he was the guy. You look into his eyes, you can see passion, you can see caring, compassion, integrity, class, dignity, all those things that we want our players to be like. - Panthers GM Dale Tallon on the hiring of Kevin Dineen as the new Panthers head coach
“I consider ourselves extremely fortunate to do what we love to do and make a living at it,” Dineen said.

The majority of Kevin Dineen’s 19 years as a player were spent with the Hartford Whalers, where he was one of the franchise’s most prominent players throughout the 1980s.

Dineen had two stints with the Whalers and he scored the franchise’s last goal before the team moved to Carolina for the 1996-97 season.

In those first two years as the Carolina Hurricanes, Dineen served as the team captain, a role he also filled with the Flyers in 1993-94.

Dineen meant enough to the folks in Hartford that his jersey, along with those of Ron Francis and Ulf Samuelsson, was raised to the rafters of the Hartford Civic Center in 2006, almost a decade after the city lost its NHL team.

A physical player with good offensive skills, Dineen is one of eight players in NHL history to amass at least 350 goals with 2,000 penalty minutes.

“He got his nose dirty to score goals,” Tallon said. ‘He was a leader when he played and he’s a leader off the ice.”

Dineen has had only one head coaching job since he retired after four games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2002-03 season, but he was highly successful at it.

In his very first year with Portland, Dineen earned the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the top coach in the American Hockey League. With that accomplishment, he followed his father, who won the Pieri Award in 1985 and 1986.

In his six seasons in Portland, three of which were spent as an affiliate of Anaheim and the last three affiliated with the Sabres, Dineen compiled a record of 266-155-59. His winning percentage of .616 is the best in franchise history.

He guided Portland to the playoffs five of his six seasons behind the bench, including this past season. After going 47-24-9 in the regular season, Portland beat Connecticut in the first round of the playoffs before losing to Binghamton.

“I followed Kevin’s career and followed him in operation for years and years,” Tallon said. “I like to think outside the box and take risks ... this is not a risk. This is a calculated risk and I’m really charged up that Kevin has accepted the challenge to come here and help us win a Stanley Cup.”




1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 47 27 12 8 143 120 62
6 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
7 WSH 47 24 14 9 140 124 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31


N. Bjugstad 45 16 13 -1 29
A. Ekblad 45 6 21 5 27
J. Huberdeau 42 8 17 1 25
J. Jokinen 44 4 21 -2 25
B. Boyes 43 10 11 2 21
J. Hayes 37 13 7 -1 20
S. Bergenheim 34 7 9 1 16
A. Barkov 34 5 9 -5 14
T. Fleischmann 38 5 8 9 13
V. Trocheck 28 4 9 6 13
R. Luongo 17 11 8 .920 2.43
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96 is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.