The Florida Panthers fired coach Kevin Dineen in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, the team announced Friday.
General manager Dale Tallon, days after saying Dineen's job was safe, fired the former NHL player along with assistant coaches Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay. The Panthers named Peter Horachek to replace Dineen.
Tallon called firing Dineen one of the hardest decisions he's had to make but said that a change was needed.
“After 16 games it was clear that our team needed a change in philosophy and direction,” Tallon said in a press release. “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.”
Horachek was serving as head coach of Florida’s top farm team in San Antonio. Former Panthers Brian Skrudland and John Madden will join the Horachek’s staff as assistant coaches.
“Peter is a bright hockey mind who brings to our club a wealth of coaching knowledge,” said Tallon. “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.”
George Richards of the Miami Herald reported signs of Dineen's dismissal earlier this week:
Doug Cifu, the team's new minority owner and alternate governor, has been around the team the past few days and was part of the meeting. Cifu left the arena around 11:30 p.m. with Tallon, assistant GM Mike Santos and hockey operations director Mike Dixon following suit around 10 minutes later.
Tallon was visibly upset -- as he usually is after a loss -- after Tuesday's loss to an Edmonton team that had not only lost five straight coming in, but were shutout by a 9-0 score to Detroit and Toronto over the weekend. The Oilers hadn't scored in almost three hours of play, yet put in two during a 30-second span during the second period to take a 3-1 lead.