Panthers hire Pirates’ Dineen as coach

Florida 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. Dineen, 47, has spent the last six seasons as the head coach of the AHL’s Portland Pirates.

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Kevin Dineen to the Florida Panthers organization,” said Tallon. “Kevin brings to our organization more than 25 years of playing and coaching experience. He played in more than 1,100 National Hockey League games and is one of only seven players in the league’s history to score more than 350 goals, while registering more than 2,000 penalty minutes.

“For the last several years, Kevin has been regarded as one of the top head coaches in the American Hockey League, leading the Portland Pirates to the AHL postseason five out of six years as the club’s coach. He is a player’s coach who understands our team’s philosophy and direction and someone who will guide the Panthers to future success.”

Dineen, 47, has spent the last six seasons as the head coach of Portland (AHL), where he compiled a record of 266-155-59 with a .616 winning percentage, the best in the franchise’s history. During this tenure with Portland, his teams won at least 40 games in four out of six seasons, won a pair of division titles (05-06 & 10-11) and advanced to the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals twice (05-06 & 07-08).

Dineen’s most successful AHL season came during the 05-06 campaign when he guided the Pirates to a 53-19-8 record. For his efforts, he was selected the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award winner as the AHL’s outstanding coach.

He has coached current NHL players such as Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, Dustin Penner and Mathieu Darche and was responsible for coaching the last three AHL rookies of the year (Luke Adam in 10-11, Tyler Ennis in 09-10 and Nathan Gerbe in 08-09).

A third round draft pick of the Hartford Whalers in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, Dineen played in 1,188 career National Hockey League games with Hartford (1984-91 & 1995-97), Philadelphia (1991-95), Carolina (1997-99), Ottawa (1999-2000) and Columbus (2000-03). Throughout his 19-year NHL playing career, he scored 355 goals with 405 assists and 2,229 PIM. He also served as team captain while playing for Philadelphia, Hartford and Carolina.

Dineen appeared in two NHL All-Star Games while playing for Hartford (1988 & 1989). Dineen was also named the 90-91 NHL Man-of-the-Year and was a three-time finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1995, 2001 & 2002). After retiring as a player on Nov. 5, 2002, Dineen spent two seasons working in the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey operations department.

Born in Quebec, he has represented Canada on numerous occasions including the 1984 Olympic Games, 1987 Canada Cup and three World Championship Tournaments (1985, 1989 and 1993). Prior to turning pro, Dineen played two seasons at the University of Denver (WCHA) and was named team captain during his sophomore season.

Kevin and his wife, Annie, have two daughters, Hannah and Emma, and two sons, William and Declan. He is the son of former NHL player and head coach Bill Dineen and a brother of former NHL players Gord and Peter. His other brothers, Shawn and Jerry, were minor league hockey players. Gord is currently an assistant coach with the Toronto Marlies (AHL), Jerry is currently the video coach of the New York Rangers, Shawn is a scout with the Nashville Predators and Peter is a scout with the Columbus Blue Jackets.