With the second highest percentage of votes in our Canes Country poll on who should be the next coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, Kevin Dineen should be high on Ron Francis' list of candidates. He has certainly paid his dues. After a 19 year NHL career, the former Whalers and Hurricanes captain coached the Portland Pirates in the AHL for six seasons.
Dineen guided that team to the playoffs five of six years and compiled a career AHL record of 266-155-59 for a .616 winning percentage.
The very next season in 2011-12, he was coaching the Florida Panthers to a Southeast Division Championship and many Caniacs were wondering, why didn't we hire this guy?
Unfortunately for Dineen, the success was short-lived as the Panthers plummeted back to earth the very next season, which was the lockout shortened season of 2012-13. They finished with the worst record in the league, 15-27-6, good for 36 points.
Dineen was fired at the beginning of this season when his team dropped their seventh game in a row while starting out with a 3-9-4 record. The word from many at Litter Box Cats was that he had lost the room. This coach is a no-nonsense type of guy and unlike Kirk Muller, apparently was not shy about sometimes throwing players under the bus in post game press conferences.
Although make no mistake, the talent level to work with in Florida was less than ideal. His replacement, Peter Horacheck, was also released at the end of this season as the Panthers once again failed to make the playoffs.
As everyone knows, Dineen went on to accept an offer to coach the Canadian Women's Team in the Olympics this past winter and they won the gold medal.
Here is an interesting you tube video about why he coaches and there is a bit about his experience coaching the girls.
Here is another good video which shows a post game interview where he is asked about the reffing of the game. He mentions that the refs are human and look at the standings before the game and know how things should turn out. He also mentions that he has a very strict "no embellishment" policy on his team and a player will be reprimanded if he is caught embellishing or (diving).
I wonder how that would sit with some of the Canes?
In this final video, Dineen is interviewed at the U-18 Championships at Finland, where he states near the end of it that he wants to be back in the NHL next season. He might just get his wish.
Dineen was a hard working player and he expects the same from his players as coach. Would his hard work ethic and demanding style fit in with the Hurricanes dressingroom?
Florida has always been scoring challenged and finished dead last in the NHL in 2012-13 with a 2.27 goals per game average and also was last in the NHL with a 3.54 goals allowed per game average. Their powerplay was 6th best in the NHL though while scoring at a 20% clip.
The previous year when they won the division title, the team had the seventh best powerplay in the league at 18.5%. They still only averaged scoring 2.40 goals per game, 27th in the league.
It would seem though that if Dineen can be a successful coach in the AHL, there is no reason why he cannot be equally successful in the NHL. In my opinion, he is the front runner for the Carolina coaching job.