Maine Hockey Journal

Dineen’s name in the rumor mill for NHL coaching positions

Photo courtesy of Southern Maine Digital Imaging

Photo courtesy of Southern Maine Digital Imaging

Portland, ME – It seems to be a rite of passage come this time of the year as NHL teams look to fill out their coaching staff for the upcoming season and Portland Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen’s name seems to always come into the mix.

Again, this season is no exception after St. Pete Times beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Damian Cristodero mentioned Dineen as a possible candidate to succeed Mike Sullivan as Associate Coach, who is expected to move on according to the article.

For the last four seasons, Dineen’s name has been mentioned as strong candidate for a coaching position with several teams including Boston, Vancouver and San Jose, but each time has opted to stay with the Pirates for varies reasons, mostly family issues.

“For me I think I have what would be considered one of the best jobs in the world,” said Dineen back in April. “We (family) are extremely happy in Portland. I love working for the Buffalo Sabres organization and the Portland Pirates are very good to us as a hockey operation.”

Dineen spent the first three seasons as head coach of the Pirates under the Anaheim Ducks affiliation, but when the Ducks decided to uproot their operation to Des Moines, Iowa Dineen was given the option on moving on with the organization as head coach of the Iowa Chops, however when Randy Cunneyworth decided to take the assistant coaching job in Florida, it opened the door for Dineen to stay with the Pirates as part of the Buffalo Sabres organization.

In four seasons with the Pirates, Dineen holds the record for most coaching wins all-time (including playoffs) with a record of 197-126-16-23, surpassing former Pirates coach Barry Trotz, who is now with the Nashville Predators.

Dineen declined comment about to the report and he has in the past, but while he’s said that he loves Portland it wouldn’t be right if he didn’t examine any offer that came forward.

“If something did (come up) I would certain evaluate it, but in the meantime (it’s) a very enjoyable place to be here in Portland.

Time will only tell and this won’t be the first or the last we hear Dineen’s name attached to a potential NHL coaching job. He’s certainly earned his shot at the NHL.

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