Kevin Dineen was back at the team's training facility in Coral Springs Saturday, but as a hockey dad rather than Panthers coach. Instead of being behind the bench, Dineen was sitting alone in the bleachers watching his 13-year-old son, William, in a Bantam AA-1 game as part of the Jr. Panthers Thanksgiving Tournament at Saveology.com Iceplex. Dineen has declined all interviews since being fired on Nov. 8 and did so again when he respectfully turned down the Sun Sentinel's request for his thoughts on his first NHL head-coaching job. Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon and new owner Vinnie Viola replaced Dineen with Peter Horachek while in the midst of a seven-game losing streak and after just 16 games (3-9-4). The Panthers have gone 4-5-1 since the change. "Let's just leave it where it is for now," said Dineen, who in his first season in 2011-12 guided the Panthers to their first division title and to a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals to snap a 12-year playoff drought. However, the lockout and an epidemic of injuries led to a 15-27-6 mark last year in which the Panthers finished dead last in the NHL. Dineen said he would talk publicly after Christmas, but he clearly didn't want to burn any bridges with an organization that's still paying the remainder of his salary this season. Tallon admitted that Dineen was upset when he was dismissed in the middle of his final season of a three-year deal. Also fired were assistants Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay. "Kevin, Gord and Craig worked very hard but for some reason the message wasn't getting through," Tallon said the morning of the coaching changes. "We're all responsible for this record. … He wasn't happy and I don't blame him. He's a fiery guy and a fiery competitor and an emotional coach. "I don't blame him for being emotional and upset. I didn't expect anything less of him. He's a class guy and it was one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make. … It's easier to fire a coach than to fire 23 players." Dineen agreed that it would've helped to have a healthy Tim Thomas in the net and that getting fired is, "part of the business." He also said he watches a lot of hockey games on television but not the Panthers.
Former Panthers coach Dineen still not ready to talk about firing
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Dec 1