Reports: Panthers to hire Kevin Dineen

Updated: May 31, 2011, 9:28 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Florida Panthers are set to hire former NHLer Kevin Dineen as their new head coach, according to multiple media reports.

The Panthers have called a news conference for 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday to make the announcement.

Dineen spent parts of 19 seasons in the NHL, scoring 355 goals. His father is former NHL player and coach Bill Dineen, and brothers Gord and Peter also played in the league.

Kevin Dineen has coached the Portland Pirates in the American Hockey League for the last six seasons. He takes over for Peter DeBoer, who was fired April 10, one day after the Panthers finished their 10th straight season without a playoff appearance. Florida's 72 points were worst in the Eastern Conference and the third-fewest in the 30-team NHL.

"These decisions are always tough to make, but we felt strongly that it was the right time to make a change," Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said.

Nearly two months later, Tallon -- who has stockpiled draft picks in an effort to turn the Panthers' fortunes around -- found who he thought was the right man for the job.

The Panthers won only eight of 33 games following the All-Star break, around the time Tallon essentially decided to become a seller instead of a buyer. Florida made eight trades in February alone, loading up with draft picks and future prospects by shipping away players such as Michael Frolik, Cory Stillman, Bryan McCabe, Christopher Higgins, Dennis Wideman and Radek Dvorak.

Dineen went 266-155-59 with the AHL team in Portland, the best mark of any coach in that club's history.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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