CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.-- Kevin Dineen toiled as a minor-league hockey coach for six years. He speaks about cold showers" in locker rooms and playing in tough, old buildings."
He talks about having players as green as can be. Just listen to this story:
We were at training camp in Anaheim and I had a player excited because he was going to be playing in Portland because he had relatives near there," Dineen said. He thought it was Portland, Ore., not Portland, Maine."
Dineen, 48, had coached the Portland Pirates before finally getting his big break last spring when he was named to lead the Florida Panthers. His NHL coaching debut is Saturday at the New York Islanders.
There are certainly some nerves there, but I dont think thats unnatural," Dineen, an NHL right wing from 1984-2003, said at the Panthers training complex before the team departed for New York.
Dineen would figure to be a lot more nervous if the Panthers hadnt retooled the roster during the offsea...