June 1, 2011

Pirates' Dineen named coach of Florida Panthers

Kevin Dineen during his playing days with the Hartford Whalers (photo: Getty)

SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers executive vice president and GM Dale Tallon announced Wednesday that Kevin Dineen has been named the 11th head coach in the club’s history. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Dineen, a 47-year-old former Hartford Whalers great, has spent the last six seasons as the head coach of the AHL's Portland Pirates, 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 of out six seasons, won a pair of division titles (2005-06 and 2010-11) and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals twice.

“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'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 2010-11, Tyler Ennis in 2009-10 and Nathan Gerbe in 2008-09).

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 and 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 penalty minutes. He also served as team captain while playing for Philadelphia, Hartford and Carolina.

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.

Dineen is also a spokesperson for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, whose mission is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases.