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Falling Panthers fire head coach Kevin Dineen

Nov 8, 2013, 10:02 AM EDT

Kevin Dineen

Just a couple of days ago, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon held a late-night meeting following Florida’s 4-3 overtime loss to Edmonton and decided that head coach Kevin Dineen wouldn’t be fired — yet.

One bad loss later and Dineen has been shown the door along with assistants Craig Ramsay and Gord Murphy, according to the Miami Herald and NHL.com.

“After 16 games it was clear that our team needed a change in philosophy and direction,” said Tallon.

“We have not met the expectations that we set forth at training camp and it is my responsibility to make the necessary changes to ensure that our club performs at its maximum potential.”

Peter Horachek is coming up from the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage to serve as the interim head coach. He previously worked with the Nashville Predators as an assistant and then associate head coach. It’s worth adding that the Rampage are currently the second-worst team in the AHL Western Conference with a 4-6-1 record.

Dineen spent parts of three seasons with Florida and had a 56-62-28 record. The Panthers finished 30th in the NHL last season, but added some veterans to the mix for the 2013-14 campaign, including forwards Scott Gomez and Brad Boyes and goaltender Tim Thomas. At the same time, they have a young and still-developing core.

Following the Panthers’ 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins last night, there was a players only meeting that involved a lot of “yelling and cursing.” That underscores the frustration this team is experiencing after going seven straight games without a win.

The 3-9-4 Panthers will attempt to end that streak on Saturday against Ottawa.

  1. muckleflugga - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    dale tallon delivered the news, vincent viola did the firing

    was he mad, buying into florida hockey?

    if i were tallon, i’d be drafting contingencies for new work, different town

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      Tallon has a long leash in Florida, considering the Hawks won two cups with a roster of players he drafted and the market for qualified NHL GM’s is bone dry.

      • chiadam - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        One cup, really. A lot of the 2010 team was traded away for cap reasons, although our core is still around.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        Nah, it’s two. He drafted Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook traded for Sharp and signed Hossa, that core is all his and that 2nd Cup doesn’t happen without Tallon.

  2. steelers88 - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    What even happened to the Panthers they made the Playoffs 2 years ago and it looked like they were about to become a winning team?

  3. tougie24 - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    If there is one aspect of sports today that I cannot stand, it’s coaches being blamed for poor player performance. The Panthers roster consist of players that are an 8th seed at best, and that’s if they play at their peak performance level. But of course, Dineen gets blamed. Not to rhyme, but it really is a shame.

    I guess it will be interesting to see where the Panthers go from here. A trade(s) seem to be the logical assumption, but who do they really have that have league wide value? And out of those few players, who are they willing to part with? And how many of those players are prospects or under 25 years old, that have been deemed the future pieces of this franchise?

    Bottom line, this franchise has been poorly managed for a long time. And it’s a shame to see Dineen get the boot due to mismanagement from his superiors in the office.

    • faustandrew - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      I disagree with you here on a couple points. I think that, at least in the NHL, coaches do get canned too fast, and that is a shame. What I disagree with is the fact that Dineen deserved to stick around. I will say that realistically maybe 7th would be the ceiling on this team but they have flat out been outplayed every game.

      If you watch any of their games, they look confused out there, like they have never played the game. Healthy scratching Versteeg and overly playing Barkov are some head scratches for sure, and when a coach just juggles lines to see what works, you have to see the writing on the wall.

      Good coaches can get the best out of what they have, look at Barry Trotz, he has had (on paper) mediocre teams and been able to make the playoffs time and time again.

      I agree that this should fall on management as well, but Dale Tallon has done more good than bad. If he wasn’t here, you would still be boasting a top line with David Booth and the goaltending tandem worse than Edmonton.

      • peterjohnjoseph - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        I agree. It’s about playing to your strengths. I could say the same for a team like Boston. No players on that team have been anywhere near the top of any offensive category (minus the playoffs) in the last 4 years, yet they play to their strengths. What you get is a group of mid-upper mid range talent playing a style where everyone is responsible defensively, and a system that makes it hard for anyone to be a liability offensively. Instead of 1-2 30-40 goal scorers, you get 8-10 15-30 goal scorers per year.

        Florida has a base to work from to build a system where no one is depended on to be the main cog in the wheel, they just need a coach to be able to get the motor running smoothly, and a few more parts through trade to soup it up. (How are these car references working for ya’?)

      • tougie24 - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        I will admit to being bias in favor of Dineen on this point. During his time as head coach of the Portland Pirates I was lucky enough to have numerous convo’s with him, and those definitely sway my opinion. I certainly can’t sit here and say he’s a coach of the year nominee, or even a great coach, but I truly believe that they canned him too early.

  4. terrier92 - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    They cobbled this team together at last minute off free agent scrap heap This is what you get Feel bad for Ramsey good coach

    • nhloon - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      Maybe Rams can get a gig back in Boston, that would be nice.

  5. valoisvipers - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Dineen was a good hockey player, not so much as a coach. It was time to go. I don’t know any thing about the new guy but a coach with some NHL experience would help right the ship faster.

    • storminator16 - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      You don’t have a clue.

      • valoisvipers - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM

        Is that you Mike Milbury?

      • storminator16 - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:52 AM

        Is that you, Doug Mclean?

  6. westinpat - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Let the Peter Laviolette to Florida rumors begin.

    • massconn72 - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Yea, he did such a good job in Philly!

      • westinpat - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        G is the greatest player in the World!

  7. mshantz22 - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Firing the coach doesn’t mean the coach is bad. Sometimes the best way to change things for a team if getting a new bench boss. When Hitchcock was fired from Columbus, the team was struggling. Anyone who knows anything about Hitchcock knows that he is a fabulous coach. He was fired because the team needed change, and quickly. As good as Dineen may be, it was probably time for him to go after a year and a half of probably the worst struggles an NHL club has seen over the past few years.

  8. alicesrightfootesq - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Panther’s need a coach who can develop young talent. Dineen strikes me as more of a Jon Gruden type. He may very well be a decent coach, but there is more to being an NHL coach than just the strategy involved with the game. This isn’t chess. Players are not just static pieces to be moved and played around with.

  9. LampyB - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Coaches should be fired quickly for poor performance. Look at what a good coach did to the Avs. Look at what a bad coach can do to a team (NYR). Torts is great, but player relationships soured and they tanked. Edmonton has a bunch of talent and they’re horrible. Same with Carolina, ton of talent and they’re god awful.

    FL does have talent, not top tier but with solid coaching they could def be hovering at the .500 mark.

  10. 7mantel - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Ted Nolan would be my choice !

  11. scionofflame - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Horachek is great with prospect development (he was brought up in the Nashville Predators system, which is almost entirely BUILT on developing young talent) and I hope he does well with the job, maybe even keeps the spot if they do well.

    Tough situation to be in and I feel for Kevin Dineen, but I think Horachek can do good things for them.

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