Quenneville Has a Little Help from His Friends

Once again, Joel Quenneville has reached into his deep reservoir of hockey acquaintances as the Chicago Blackhawks announced Monday that Kevin Dineen has been hired as an assistant coach for the 2014-15 season. Dineen, 50, was a former Hartford Whaler teammate of Quenneville’s back in their playing days. He will replace Jamie Kompon, who left to become the head coach of the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League.

Kompon, a two-time Stanley Cup champion (2012 – LA, 2013 – CHI), had been hired by the Blackhawks after a successful nine-year tenure with the St. Louis Blues alongside Quenneville. Mike Kitchen, a current assistant coach in Chicago, was also an assistant with Quenneville in St. Louis. Kompon was primarily responsible for the Blackhawks tenth-ranked power play last season.

Kevin Dineen Panthers Coach
Kevin Dineen on the bench (Jerome Davis/Icon SMI)

“I am thrilled to join Joel Quenneville, a future hall of fame coach, and Mike Kitchen, as we strive to reach the ultimate goal in professional hockey,” Dineen said. “After spending time speaking with John McDonough, Stan Bowman, and Al MacIsaac, it is easy to understand why the Chicago Blackhawks are considered one of the top franchises in all of professional sports.” The 50-year-old Dineen had a professional playing career spanning from 1984 to 2003 and spent time with Hartford, Philadelphia, Carolina, Ottawa, and Columbus. In 1188 National Hockey League games, he tallied 355 goals and 760 points. Dineen was also the captain of the Flyers (1993-94), Whalers (1996-97), and Hurricanes (1997-98) during his career. During the lockout of 1994-95, Dineen played for the Houston Aeros of the International Hockey League.

“Kevin brings proven leadership qualities, having served as an alternate captain and captain for several of his teams during his 19-year NHL career,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He will bring another well-respected voice to our coaching staff and we look forward to his contributions to our team.”

After announcing his retirement following the 2002-03 season, Dineen became the assistant general manager of the Blue Jackets. He held that position for two seasons before taking on his first head coaching job with the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League. Dineen did not suffer a losing season while with Portland On June 2, 2011, Dineen was named the head coach of the Florida Panthers and led the team to a Southeast Division title in his first season. However, after a 3-9-4 start to the 2013-14 season, he was fired and replaced by Peter Horachek. Dineen played in the 1984 Winter Olympics for Team Canada, but was held pointless. The Quebec native returned to the Olympic stage in 2014, when he guided Canada’s women’s ice hockey team to gold in Sochi. Dineen also led Canada’s men’s Under-18 squad to a bronze medal finish at the 2014 IIHF World U18 Championships.

“Starting with Rocky Wirtz and continuing through the rest of the organization, the measure of success is very high in Chicago,” said Dineen. “I look forward to supporting the coaching staff and working with some of the best players in the National Hockey League.”