Panthers fire Dineen, assistants after slow start
Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Florida Panthers, mired in a seven-game losing streak, have fired head coach Kevin Dineen.
Dineen's assistant coaches, Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay, have been relieved of their duties as well.
Executive vice president and general manager Dale Tallon has named Peter Horachek interim head coach and Brian Skrudland and John Madden assistant coaches.
"After 16 games it was clear that our team needed a change in philosophy and direction," Tallon said in a statement Friday, a day after a 4-1 setback at Boston dropped the Panthers' record to 3-9-4. "We have not met the expectations that we set forth at training camp and it is my responsibility to make the necessary changes to ensure that our club performs at its maximum potential. We thank Kevin, Gord and Craig for their hard work and dedication to our organization and the professionalism that they displayed throughout their tenure."
Dineen's tenure began with a 38-26-18 record and a Southeast Division title in 2011-12. The Panthers' first playoff appearance since 2000 ended with a double-overtime loss to New Jersey in Game 7 of the opening round.
Florida, ravaged by injuries, plummeted to the bottom of the standings last season, finishing with a league-low 36 points and a 15-27-6 record.
Horachek, 53, inherits a team with an NHL-worst minus-25 goal differential. He was in his first season coaching the Panthers' American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.
"Peter is a bright hockey mind who brings to our club a wealth of coaching knowledge," Tallon said in a statement. "He is a focused, determined and demanding coach who has experienced great success at all levels of competition. Both Brian and John are proven winners who won multiple Stanley Cups and are individuals that our players know very well. With these additions, we are confident that we have a staff that will work tirelessly to bring continued success to our organization."
Prior to his job in San Antonio, Horachek spent nine seasons (2003-13) with the Nashville Predators, serving the last two years as associate head coach.
11/08 20:51:40 ET