Kevin Dineen: The Early Favorite For The Coach Of The Year

Head Coach Kevin Dineen coaches the Panthers to another victory Photo Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Head Coach Kevin Dineen was not brought here to South Florida for vacation time.  GM Dale Tallon brought Dineen here to build a championship team, and thus far it certainly looks as if the Florida Panthers have some bright years ahead of them.

Although this organization has had a handful of All Stars and superstars, the Florida Panthers have not made the playoffs in over a decade. Multiple coaches have tried to get the Panthers into the postseason but none have been able to squeeze into the playoffs.

Thus far this season the Panthers have been off to their best start in franchise history. Coach Kevin Dineen has brought a whole new nitty gritty attitude here to South Florida and it sure has paid its dividends. Dineen was known as a player that fought for the puck every time he got onto the ice. There have only been a handful of games all season where the Panthers have been outplayed, and coach Dineen makes sure it doesn’t happen often.

Certainly not many people expected the Panthers to start off so well, which is the main reason why Kevin Dineen deserves the Jack Adams Award as Coach Of The Year if the Panthers can keep this up for the balance of the season. Teams like St. Louis, Minnesota and Dallas have certainly been early season surprises, but I would have to say that the Panthers have been the biggest surprise.

Dineen has taken a roster with over 11 new faces, found a way to mix and match line combinations, and defensive pairings, and has put his trust in Jose Theodore as the teams number one goaltender. If the Panthers continue to dominate the NHL and remain in the playoff picture, Kevin Dineen certainly has to be named the Coach Of The Year just for the simple the fact that the Panthers haven’t made the playoffs in over a decade, and because no one outside of South Florida had the Panthers in their playoff predictions.

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