NHL notes: Dineen takes over in Flordia

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:41 PM ET

Kevin Dineen was confirmed Wednesday as the struggling Florida Panthers' new coach.

Dineen, 47, replaces Peter DeBoer, who was fired on April 10 after three seasons.

The Panthers had the worst record in the Eastern Conference this past season at 30-40-12, missing the playoffs for the 10th consecutive year.

"Kevin brings to our organization more than 25 years of playing and coaching experience," Florida general manager Dale Tallon said. "For the last several years, Kevin has been regarded as one of the top head coaches in the American Hockey League. He is a player's coach who understands our team's philosophy and direction, and (is) someone who will guide the Panthers to future success."

Dineen coached the AHL's Portland Pirates for six seasons, compiling a 266-155-59 mark.

"Somewhere down the line, I felt like there may be opportunities, but at the end of the day it wasn't something that I sweated at all," Dineen said. "I really enjoyed the players that I've had and the people I've worked with, doing our business. And I think when you're wrapped up in that, things eventually take care of themselves and it culminates in today."

Dineen played 1,188 NHL games, retiring in 2003. He had 355 goals and 405 assists along with 2,229 penalty minutes, with Hartford/Carolina, Philadelphia, Ottawa and Columbus.

Dineen is one of a number of family members involved in hockey. He is the son of former NHL player and coach Bill Dineen and brother of former NHLers Gord and Peter. Brothers Shawn and Jerry were minor-leaguers.

Hawks boss gets new title

Chicago Blackhawks president John McDonough has been given additional duties as chief executive officer.

"John has shown unprecedented leadership, boundless energy and a tireless ability to move the Blackhawks forward since he took over operations for the organization in 2007," Chicago chairman W. Rockwell Wirtz said Wednesday. "It is only appropriate that we add CEO to his title as the direction of this franchise continues to strive for excellence."

The Blackhawks have had 146 consecutive sellouts at the United Center and have more than tripled their season ticket base under McDonough's watch. Chicago has led the league in attendance for three seasons in a row.

Sherbrooke has NHL influence

Dallas Stars defenceman Stephane Robidas and former NHLer Jocelyn Thibault are members of the ownership group of a new QMJHL franchise in Sherbrooke, Que., that will be begin operations in the 2012-13 season.

The Sherbrooke team essentially replaces the Lewiston Maineiacs franchise, which has ceased operations. The city of Sherbrooke will invest $4 million in arena renovations.

"The QMJHL is very excited to welcome Sherbrooke back into its fold," QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau said in a statement. "With strong local ownership, I am convinced that major junior hockey will once again flourish in Sherbrooke."

The QMJHL bought out the Lewiston franchise, which began play in 2003 as the league's only American team after moving from Sherbrooke, and will disperse its players through a draft.

"I am truly sad for Maineiacs fans," majority owner Mark Just said in a statement. "For those that supported the team over the past few years, I would like to thank you. Nonetheless, mounting financial losses became too much to bear for our ownership group."

Puck for grabs

A puck reputedly used in the Atlanta Thrashers final win is up for auction on eBay.

The official NHL game puck, which is scuffed and bears the New York Rangers logo, had a bid of $86 US Wednesday evening. The listing indicated the reserve bid had not been met, although nine days remain in the auction.

The Thrashers last win, a 3-0 result, came April 7 at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. Atlanta closed out the regular season with losses to Carolina and Pittsburgh.

The franchise was bought by True North Sports and Entertainment on Tuesday and, as long as it gets approval from the NHL board of governors later this month, will move to Winnipeg.


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