On Aug. 5, 2021, Kevin Dineen was announced as the new head coach for the Utica Comets, the Devils' American Hockey League franchise, which will play its inaugural season as New Jersey's affiliate during the 2021-22 campaign.
Dineen joined Amanda Stein and Jason Shayah, Utica Comets' AHL TV broadcaster and director of communications, on this week's episode of Speak of the Devils podcast, which was recorded on the day his hiring was announced. A veteran of 1,188 NHL games, three years as an NHL coach, several more as an assistant and six years of AHL coaching experience, Dineen is seen as the perfect fit to take on the roleto lead the Devils and Comets young prospects.
"That's always the fun and part of the challenges of coaching at the American League level," Dineen said. "And I guess, the best way that I can phrase it, and I've always phrased it, is I want every player that plays in Utica next year to absolutely maximize their talent, right, just absolutely squeeze everything out of their career.
"And I don't know, I can't tell you if that's as a full-time NHLer or as a guy that's going to be a bubble player getting called up, or someone that's just going to have a really solid career at the American League level. It's just making sure that you're there as a resource for them to help them be the best they can be."
Here are some of the highlights of the discussion:
- His longstanding relationship with Lindy Ruff, both as players and coaches
- His coaching philosophy towards young players hoping to make it to the NHL
- Growing up in the sport with his father as an NHL coach
- The allure of joining the Devils organization
- Learning about his new roster
- Keeping the rest of the staff in place (associate, assistant, and goalie coaches)
For more episodes of Speak of the Devils, visit our podcast page.