The Portland Pirates announced today that the Buffalo Sabres have named Kevin Dineen as the head coach of the Portland Pirates, Buffalo’s primary player development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).
“We are very excited to announce Kevin Dineen as the head coach of the Portland Pirates,” said Darcy Regier, General Manager of the Buffalo Sabres. “Our AHL team has been a very integral part of our success on the NHL level over the last five years and we expect Kevin to continue this tradition. He’s familiar with Portland and his coaching record and player development skills the past three years in the AHL are very important to our organization. Kevin’s a proven winner, a quality individual and a great addition to the Buffalo Sabres.”
Pirates Managing Owner/CEO Brian Petrovek said, “This selection of Kevin Dineen as head coach expresses the Sabres’ commitment to putting together an exciting, winning team. Our fans have seen Kevin’s intensity and competitiveness, and also, his achievements over the past three seasons, and can expect more of the same moving forward. We’re just thrilled to welcome him back.”
“I am excited about the opportunity to work with the Buffalo organization,” said Dineen. “Through my conversations with General Manager Darcy Regier and his staff, it is clear that the Sabres focus on players with strong character, honesty and a commitment to winning, which is great news for all Pirates fans. The organization also places a strong emphasis on developing players at the AHL level to become future Sabres, and I am looking forward to being an integral part of that process. Additionally, my family and I are thrilled to remain a part of this great community here in Portland.”
Dineen will be returning to the Portland Pirates for his fourth season, but this year he will be standing behind a bench full of new players, under a new NHL affiliation with Buffalo. During Dineen’s three-year tenure with the Pirates he posted a 135-89-16 record for a .596 winning percentage, which is the best winning percentage (.623) by a coach in franchise history, just ahead of legendary Pirates Hall of Fame coach and current Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz. Dineen led the Pirates to two Eastern Conference Finals in three seasons, coming within one win of the Calder Cup Finals each time.
During the 2005-2006, season after a 53-19-5 record, Dineen was named the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach, as voted by members of the media in each of the league’s 27 cities, an award won by his father Bill in both 1985 and 1986.
Dineen, 44, spent 18 years in the NHL as a player from 1984-85 to 2002-2003. He earned 355 goals and 405 assists for 760 points and 2,229 penalty minutes in 1,188 games with Columbus, Ottawa, Carolina/Hartford and Philadelphia. In the process, he became one of just eight NHL players to record more than 300 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes in an NHL career. He was drafted by Hartford in the third round (56th overall) of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft.
After retiring as a player with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 5, 2002, Dineen spent two seasons working in the Columbus hockey operations department, assisting General Manager Doug MacLean in player development.
The Quebec City, Quebec, native appeared in two NHL All-Star Games as a member of the Hartford Whalers (1988 and 1989). He was also named the 1990-91 NHL Man of the Year and was a three-time finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1995, 2001 and 2002), given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Dineen also represented Canada on many occasions, playing on the country’s national team at the 1984 Olympic Games, 1987 Canada Cup and three World Championship Tournaments (1985, 1989 and 1993).
Dineen also played two seasons at the University of Denver, earning 26 goals and 23 assists for 49 points, with 178 penalty minutes, in 62 games.
Kevin and his wife, Annie, are the parents of two daughters (Hannah and Emma) and two sons (William and Declan).
Portland Pirates Hockey is fun, exciting and affordable entertainment where fans can watch and get to know tomorrow’s NHL stars today. Pirates season ticket plans are on sale now by calling (207) 828-4665 x350. Individual game tickets will go on sale Friday, September, 26th. The Pirates 2008-09 schedule will be released on Thursday, August 7th.