Tag: Kevin Dineen

Dale Tallon

Under Pressure: Dale Tallon


There’s no question Florida Panthers’ general manager Dale Tallon went out and added some significant pieces to help his budding stars this offseason.

But his time to get this struggling franchise to become a regular playoff contender is quickly running out.

The team’s attendance is at the bottom of the league and the debt is piling up. Tallon is under pressure to turn the ship around in Florida.

Since taking over in May 2010, Tallon has got his club to the playoffs just once, during the 2011-12 season, where they lost in seven games of the first round to the New Jersey Devils.

Tallon is also on his third coach in Florida.

He hired Kevin Dineen prior to the 2011-12 season. Then in November 2013, Tallon replaced Dineen, who led the Panthers to a record 56-62-28 with Peter Horachek. Horachek lasted just 66 games as the team’s interim coach.

On June 21, Tallon appointed his latest bench boss, Gerard Gallant. Gallant’s only other head coaching experience in the NHL was parts of three seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2003-06 where he failed to reach the postseason.

Gallant’s track record, though brief, doesn’t really give you confidence if you’re a Panthers fan does it?

Tallon may not be doing much more hiring behind the bench, I mean how many swings and misses does a guy get?

This summer, Tallon signed Shawn Thornton, Dave Bolland and Willie Mitchell – all who have Stanley Cup experience in addition to Jussi Jokinen and Al Montoya. Tallon has to hope the vets mixed with the youngsters proves to be the right chemistry because if his job isn’t on the line at the moment, it certainly will be soon.

Florida finished with just 66 points last season well back of the 93 points Detroit needed to qualify for the second wild card spot. The Panthers play in the Atlantic Division with Boston, Montreal, Tampa Bay and Detroit – it’ll be a tall task for Tallon and Co. to avoid missing the playoffs for a third consecutive year.

Related: Panthers’ power play can only improve next season

Dineen on Florida firing: ‘Let’s just leave it where it is for now’

Kevin Dineen

Kevin Dineen was fired by the Florida Panthers back on November 8, and after losing his first NHL head coaching job, he’s still not ready to discuss what went wrong.

Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel was there as Dineen revisited the Panthers training facility to watch his son’s junior team play in a tournament and found him less-than chatty.

“Let’s just leave it where it is for now,” said Dineen.

Dineen added that he would talk publicly about the firing after Christmas. He was replaced by Peter Horachek who has gone 4-5-1 since taking over the Panthers.

It’s tough to fault Dineen for not wanting to talk about things now. It was his first job and having things not go right can make things difficult to discuss. On top of that, he’s also going to want to find another team to get back to coaching some day. If he was unhappy with how things went with the Panthers, speaking up too soon could’ve been counterproductive.

Panthers take Thomas off IR, starts against Ottawa

Tim Thomas
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The Florida Panthers finally have some good news.

John Shannon of Sportsnet reports the Panthers are taking goalie Tim Thomas off of injured reserve and will get the start in their game this afternoon against the Ottawa Senators.

Thomas has been out since October 22 with a lower-body injury. Since he’s been hurt, the Panthers have lost six games in a row including games to the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers. Thomas’ absence also coincided with the firing of former coach Kevin Dineen. In all, the team has lost seven straight.

While Thomas’ numbers haven’t been great this year (2-3-0 record, .905 SV%,  3.11 GAA) he’s been the most consistent goalie the Panthers have had all season compared to Jacob Markstrom and Scott Clemmensen.

Interim head coach Peter Horachek hopes Thomas’ return can help turn things around on South Beach.

Is Jacob Markstrom Florida’s goalie savior?

Jacob Markstrom

For the past two summers, rumors swirled around the Florida Panthers concerning their interest in Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. For the past two summers, the Panthers never made a move. The reason? 23 year-old goalie Jacob Markstrom.

Markstrom was the organization’s top prospect for years before getting thrown into the starting job last season when Jose Theodore’s season was ended by injury. GM Dale Tallon has been Markstrom’s biggest fan and has made it clear he wants to stick by him.

It hasn’t been easy for him so far as a pro. Last season after a particularly brutal 7-1 loss to Washington, Markstrom was called out by coach Kevin Dineen. Last year’s Panthers were the worst team in the league so you can hang many of the troubles he had on that.

Two seasons ago when he got his first real taste of NHL action, he did well, stats-wise, in seven games. While he went just 2-4-1 he put up a .925 save percentage and a 2.66 goals-against average. The former number will put you in the top-ten amongst goalies most seasons.

The question the Panthers have to ask themselves here is: Which guy is the real Markstrom? The kid from two seasons showed a lot of the reasons why they’ve stayed out of the Luongo fray.

If he turns out to be more like the player we saw last season, however, perhaps Tallon might want to keep Mike Gillis’ phone number handy just in case.

Florida’s Kulikov likely done for the year after upper body injury

Milan Lucic, Dmitry Kulikov
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Injuries have dominated the hapless Florida Panthers’ season and you can add another name to the list.

Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov went down in the third period of the Panthers’ 3-0 loss to Boston this afternoon after getting tangled up with Jaromir Jagr. As George Richards of the Miami Herald reports, the injury will likely put an end to his season.

“He won’t be available,” coach Kevin Dineen said, “probably for the rest of the season.”

On the upside, Florida has just three games left in the season. On the downside, they’re in the running for the worst record in the league.  If the ping pong balls bounce right, they could be headed for the No. 1 pick in the draft and a shot at Seth Jones. This is what you call “looking for the silver lining in the middle of a nightmare season.”

The Panthers injury woes have seen them lose four different players for the season in Stephen Weiss, Jose Theodore, Kris Versteeg, and Ed Jovanovski. And you wonder why they’ve been so bad.