Maine Hockey Journal

A new Dineen on the way?

Since the last update a little more information as come in regarding the Pirates future coaching situation. As I mentioned in my earlier entry, Bruce Crowder is no longer the Pirates Assistant Coach as he left on his own free will in order to spend quality time with his family. Well apparently his leaving wasn’t his decision after all, but that of the Ducks brass in Anaheim.


Who knows and we may never know, but I would have to say that I think that this could be a huge mistake on the part of the Ducks and Pirates for letting Crowder go.

Crowder was sort of a calming effect on the Pirates or better put a father figure to the younger players. Let remember something about Crowder. He was a former player, but he was someone who had a Masters degree and was someone who was very articulate with the media and to those who he spoke with on a regular basis. As the former player he could and would be hard on the players when he had too, but at the same time his teacher mentality would come to the forefront, listening to the players when the head coach, who has the final say, makes a decision that the player or players may not like. Most of the time it was Crowder who they vented their frustrations too.

Crowder didn’t just keep the players in check, but he also kept Pirates Head Coach Kevin Dineen balanced on the bench as well. Let’s face it. Dineen is a former player who is less then four years removed from playing the game and you still see the passion that he holds for the game. There is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes he goes a little overboard with his action. It was only last year that he was suspended for a run-in with an official after the game. Crowder acted as a buffer for Dineen when he became a little too charged.

Who could replace Crowder as an Assistant Coach? Believe it or not, the Pirates may have another Dineen on the bench. While the Pirates will neither confirm nor deny, it’s believed that Gord Dineen will be named the new Assistant Coach for the Portland Pirates as soon as the end of this week.

Dineen is an experience coach after spending the last four seasons with the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes organization, spending the last two seasons as an Assistant Coach in San Antonio.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Gord and Kevin get along on the bench. As they say mixing family with business can cause many other issues, just ask Dale Earnhardt Jr. about that.

I said this earlier and firmly believed this that Crowder’s biggest asset to the Pirates, he was a buffer for Dineen when he became annoyed and I wonder if Gord can be that voice of reason as well when – not if – Kevin shows that player’s passion again.

As for Crowder, I’m sure he’s not worried about all of this. He’s entering a whole new life being close to his family especially at time when his son is playing hockey for UMass-Amherst. I certainly wish him all the best.

Notes: The Portland Pirates will have a slightly new look next season when they take to the ice next season. When the AHL signed a new deal with RBK, it put into place a various set of changes including a newer looking and more modern jersey. It supposedly wicks away moisture and has a tighter fit reducing wind resistance. This will be the franchise third jersey redesign since the team was moved to Portland since 1993.

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