Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Florida Panthers

Panthers News

A New Charge

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
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.”
View More