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Chops introduce coaching staff for inaugural season

The Anaheim Ducks, parent club of the AHL’s Iowa Chops, have announced Gord Dineen as the first head coach in Chops history and also named Matt Laatsch as the assistant coach.

"Gord Dineen is a top young coach with a lengthy and impressive resume as a player and as a coach," said Anaheim Ducks executive vice president/general manager Brian Burke. "We were impressed with everything he added to our coaching staff in Portland last year, and are extremely pleased to name him as our head coach in Des Moines."

This will be Dineen’s first stint as a head coach in the AHL. He spent last season in the Anaheim Ducks organization as an assistant coach for the AHL’s Portland Pirates under his brother and head coach Kevin Dineen.

Prior to coaching in Portland last season, Gord Dineen served as an assistant coach in the AHL for the Louisville Panthers (2000-01), Springfield Falcons (2003-04), Utah Grizzlies (2004-05) and San Antonio Rampage (2005-06). Dineen’s head coaching experience includes stints with the Macon Whoopee (2001-02) and Richmond Renegades (2002-03) in the ECHL.

“I am very excited and flattered about being named the first head coach in Iowa Chops history,” said Dineen. “My experience with the Anaheim Ducks organization has been a very positive one thus far, and I look forward to continuing that relationship and put a successful team on the ice. We will be a reflection of the Anaheim Ducks with an up-tempo, in-your-face, physical style of hockey that will prepare and develop our players to win at the NHL level.”

Dineen, 45, was originally drafted by the New York Islanders in 1981 (42nd overall) and played professional hockey for 18 seasons. He made his NHL debut in the 1982-83 season with the New York Islanders. He played a total of 528 games in his career, for the Islanders, the Minnesota North Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators. Dineen finished his NHL career with 16 goals, 90 assists and 106 points and won a Stanley Cup in 1991 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Gord and his wife Alexandra are the proud parents of two children, Molly and Finnegan.

Laatsch, 28, will serve as Iowa Chops assistant coach behind Dineen. Along with Dineen, Laatsch was one of two assistant coaches in Portland last season, when the team advanced to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Prior to joining the Anaheim Ducks organization, Laatsch was an assistant coach at the University of Denver during the 2006-07 season. Laatsch was a member of both University of Denver teams that won back-to-back NCAA national championships in 2004 and 2005.