Photo Credit: theahl.com
The longtime player and coach was recently tabbed to lead the New Jersey Devils AHL affiliate in Utica, NY.
Kevin Dineen will be heading to upstate New York this season, as he has been named the new Head Coach of the Utica Comets. He will be bringing a wealth of experience and a penchant for success to the Mohawk Valley, to which the New Jersey Devils are hoping rubs off on their prospects that are vying for the chance to play in the NHL.
The fifty-seven-year-old Dineen was drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the third round of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft while playing for the University of Denver. He made his NHL debut with the Whalers in 1984 after spending time with their AHL affiliate in Binghamton, New York. He would quickly become a fan favorite with his work ethic and his nose for the net.
In 1991 he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers where he would be coached by his father, Bill Dineen. Kevin was then traded back to the Whalers in 1995, and was on the last Whalers team to play in Hartford before moving to North Carolina to become the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997 (fun fact, he scored the last goal in Hartford Whalers history as well). Dineen also played for the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets in his NHL playing career.
After retiring from his playing career, Kevin Dineen decided to stay in the game and took his talent and knowledge behind the bench. He was named Head Coach of the AHL’s Portland Pirates in 2005, and in his first season he compiled a 53-19-0-8 record, which earned the AHL Outstanding Coach of the Year award. After six seasons in Portland, he became the Head Coach of the Florida Panthers – where he would stay for just over two seasons. After moving on from the Panthers, Dineen was named the Head Coach of the Canadian National Women’s Ice Hockey Team that won the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
His next stop was in Chicago, where he was named an Assistant Coach for the Chicago Blackhawks beginning in the 2014-15 season. It was while he was in Chicago that he enjoyed his greatest success as an NHL coach. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup during his first season, and he would stay with the Blackhawks as an Assistant Coach for five seasons.
In 2019, the former AHL Outstanding Coach of the Year decided it was time to give head coaching another try, and he took that post with the San Diego Gulls of the AHL. In his lone season guiding the Anaheim Ducks affiliate, he had a 30-19-8 record.
Joining Coach Dineen on the coaching staff this season for the Utica Comets are Associate Coach Sergei Brylin, Assistant Coach Ryan Parent, Goaltending Coach Brian Eklund, and Video Coach Adam Purner. For all things Utica Comets, please visit http://uticacomets.com.