SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 3: Head coach Kevin Dineen talks to Stephen Weiss #9 and Kris Versteeg #32 of the Florida Panthers during a break in action against the Chicago Blackhawks on November 3, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Blackhawks defeated the Panthers 3-2 in a shoot out. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Last week, Jamie Kompon left the Chicago Blackhawks’ bench to take over the head coaching job with the Portland Winterhawks, and on Monday, the team moved quickly to fill the vacancy, hiring former Florida Panthers bench boss Kevin Dineen.
Dineen, who played for the Hartford Whalers alongside Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville for several seasons, coached the Panthers from 2011 to 2013 and led the Canadian women’s hockey team to a gold medal in the Sochi Olympics in February.
“I am thrilled to join Joel Quenneville, a future hall of fame coach, and Mike Kitchen, as we strive to reach the ultimate goal in professional hockey,” Dineen said in a statement. “After spending time speaking with John McDonough, Stan Bowman and Al MacIsaac it is easy to understand why the Chicago Blackhawks are considered one of the top franchises in all of professional sports.”
In 2012, Dineen led the Panthers to the Southeast Division title, but they lost in the first round to the eventual Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils. After a disappointing 2012-13 season, Dineen was fired in November of 2013 before taking over Team Canada for the Olympic Games.
“Kevin brings proven leadership qualities, having served as an alternate captain and captain for several of his teams during his 19-year NHL career,” Stan Bowman said. “He will bring another well-respected voice to our coaching staff and we look forward to his contributions to our team.”
In 1,188 career games, Dineen scored 355 goals and added 405 assists for six different teams. He will join Mike Kitchen on the bench alongside Quenneville, and will likely help out with the team’s special teams units in much the same way as Kompon did with the team.