The Anaheim Ducks recently promoted their AHL head coach Dallas Eakins to the NHL, leaving a vacancy behind the bench for the San Diego Gulls. That vacancy has been filled today with the announcement of Kevin Dineen as the team’s next head coach. GM Bob Murray released a short statement on the hiring:
Kevin brings more than 30 years of valuable experience as a player and coach in professional hockey. We are committed to continue a winning tradition in San Diego, and Kevin will help the organization achieve those goals.
Dineen, 55, played 19 seasons in the NHL and amassed 760 points in 1,188 regular season games. A two-time 40-goal scorer, he was also a strong defensive forward that would never back down from a physical engagement—he recorded 2,229 penalty minutes over his long playing career. Immediately joining the Columbus Blue Jackets front office after his retirement, Dineen was quickly promoted to assistant general manager before eventually taking on the head coaching job for the Portland Pirates of the AHL.
After spending several years in the minor league coaching ranks, Dineen was given his first chance at the NHL level when he was hired as head coach of the FLorida Panthers in 2011. He led the Panthers to a 38-26-18 record and their first playoff appearance in more than a decade in his first season with the team, but things didn’t go so smoothly in the following year and just 17 games into his third season he was fired. Dineen would end up coaching the Canadian women’s team at the 2014 Olympics, winning gold.
He had served as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks for the last several seasons, but was fired along with head coach Joel Quenneville last November.