The Jack Adams Award, awards “the coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success” according to NHL.com. I think it is quite insulting that Coach Kevin Dineen was not nominated for this award. This is Kevin Dineen’s first year coaching a NHL team and he with the help of Dale Tallon turned this Florida Panther team into Southeast Division Champions and made it to Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs. We were last place last year and now we’re first in the division. That was accomplished in 1 YEAR. This Florida Panther team clicked almost instantly and that stems from great coaching. This team had a complete makeover this year with all new players, some with lots of playoff experience, and some without. He let the veteran guys teach and guide the young players knowing it would be beneficial.
He helped all of our young players out knowing exactly what to do to improve a player. Coach Dineen benched rookie Erik Gudbranson for a few games at the beginning of the season knowing a little time away would benefit him. It did, Gudbranson ended up coming out stronger proving his dedication to being a presence on the ice. Dineen knew when one of our goaltenders needed a breather. Whether it be putting Scott Clemmensen in for 30 seconds to give Jose Theodore a breather or pulling one for the rest of the game, he knew the right time. He took timeouts at the most opportune times right before a critical faceoff or even knowing his players needed to catch their breaths.
I have never once heard him talk negatively about any team in this league. We’ve got coaches around the NHL badmouthing other teams, calling players “cry babies” and honestly, that’s pretty pathetic to me. A coach shouldn’t have to be fined to understand he shouldn’t be saying nasty things about other teams, he should KNOW not to say those things. A coach is a person the players look up to and respect and I’m confident every single guy in that Panther dressing room respects him. He gives every team credit where credit is due. He also said “that is an area I was very impressed with, not only in the playoffs but this year was the quality of the officiating.” Now I can say, I thought the officiating so far in these playoffs has been terrible. He accepts the fact that the refs are human and do miss calls occasionally, however he gives them credit even going so far as to congratulating them on a quality year of officiating. For a team like the Florida Panthers who get criticized in the media constantly, I think it is a true testament of Kevin Dineen’s character when he compliments all other teams and the officiating time after time.
After hearing some post-game interviews after the Panthers OT loss, there was something Dineen said that stood out to me that made me admire him so much more not just as a coach but as a regular guy as well. He demands only 1 thing from his players. “I demand there is no phoniness. There is no diving. We do not tolerate that. We don’t pretend like we’re hurt.” He is truly a class act coach. He coaches for the love of hockey and to help, support and make these players dreams come true in one day raising the Stanley Cup trophy high.
Dineen is a no-nonsense coach and focuses on the team. He isn’t there to get media attention due to petty comments about other teams. He is there for those Florida Panther players. I know the Florida Panthers don’t often get recognized for things because we aren’t a “hockey market” according to some but this has nothing to do with that. This has to do with quality coaching and that is what Kevin has given this team all year. Congrats to the other coaches nominated but I think Kevin Dineen was robbed this year.
First, Tomas Fleischmann getting robbed of Masterton and now Kevin Dineen robbed of Jack Adams. The lack of respect for the Florida Panther organization continues.
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