The Florida Panthers just announced the firing of head coach Kevin Dineen. Assistant coaches Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay were also relieved of their coaching duties. Goalie coach Robb Tallas, video coach Jason Cipolla and strength and conditioning coach Craig Slaunwhite have not been let go.
Panther General Manager Dale Tallon made the announcement this morning.
“After 16 games it was clear that our team needed a change in philosophy and direction,” said Tallon. “We have not met the expectations that we set forth at training camp and it is my responsibility to make the necessary changes to ensure that our club performs at its maximum potential. We thank Kevin, Gord and Craig for their hard work and dedication to our organization and the professionalism that they displayed throughout their tenure.”
Dineen joined the Panthers prior to the 2011-12 season and he led the Panthers to the Southeast Division title in his first year as an NHL head coach. Things went south last year as the Panthers struggled to a 15-27-6 record and a last place finish. Things have not gotten much better this year as the Panthers have stumbled out of the gate to a 3-9-4 record.
Many speculated that Dineen’s job was in trouble especially after the team’s management held a late night meeting following Florida’s 4-3 loss to the Oilers at home. At the meeting was Doug Cifu who recently purchased the team alongside Vincent Viola in September.
San Antonio Rampage head coach Peter Horachek, 53, will take over head coaching duties. Before being named head coach of the Panthers AHL affiliate the Rampage during the offseason, Horachek spent nine seasons with the Nashville Predators. During his last two years in Nashville, Horachek was the team’s associate head coach.
In addition to the Rampage this season, Horachek’s head coaching experience includes AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals (2002-03), ECHL’s Trenton Titans (2001-02), and the IHL’s Orlando Solar Bears (1999-01).
John Madden and Brian Skrudland will take over assistant coaching duties according to George Richards of the Miami Herald.