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Dineen to keep steering Pirates’ ship

The Buffalo Sabres, parent club of the AHL’s Portland Pirates, announced today that Kevin Dineen has been named the head coach of the Pirates, Buffalo’s primary player development affiliate in the American Hockey League. 

“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.”

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. As the top affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks from 2005-08, the Pirates were 135-89-16 (.596) under Dineen, who led the club to two Eastern Conference Finals appearances.

During the 2005-2006 season after a 53-19-5-3 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 member cities. Dineen joined his father Bill (1985, 1986) as a winner of the award.

Dineen, 44, spent 18 years in the NHL as a player from 1984-85 to 2002-03. 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.

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 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).

Kevin and his wife, Annie, are the parents of two daughters (Hannah and Emma) and two sons (William and Declan).