Welcome to part one in a five-part series of blogs called “Guiding the Storm”. Each part focuses on those players who have worn the “C” for the Hurricanes, their careers, and their effect on the franchise.
In July of 1997, Peter Karmanos Jr., owner of the Hartford Whalers, announced that the Whalers would be moving from Hartford, Connecticut to Raleigh, North Carolina. Essentially every piece of the Whalers franchise was picked up and moved to the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, including the first captain of the newly formed Carolina Hurricanes, Kevin Dineen.
Drafted in 1982 by the Hartford Whalers, the hard working Dineen was an integral part of the Whalers franchise for 7 years, thankfully missing out on the dreaded “Cooperalls” and eventually being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1991 where he would be be coached by his father and named team Captain. After 4 years with the Flyers, Dineen was traded back to the Hartford Whalers in the 1995-1996 season, where he would go on to score the franchise’s final goal.
Carrying over the captaincy he earned in the 1996-1997 season, Kevin Dineen and the Hurricanes made their NHL debut in the Greensboro Coliseum, a 21000 seat arena 90 minutes away from Raleigh. Due to the fast move, construction on the arena in Raleigh had not been completed, making Greensboro the only suitable building nearby.
Their first season in Carolina was not an encouraging one. Dineen wracked up only 23 points in 54 games while amassing 104 penalty minutes. The team, meanwhile, was also struggling. Like their captain, the team only managed a mediocre season, gather 74 points (9th place in the East) and finishing 9 points out of a playoff spot.
Despite bringing a strong work ethic, the lack of production from Dineen eventually would lead to him losing the Captaincy at the end of the 1997-1998 season. He would stay with the team however, finishing out his contract with the club and eventually signing on with the Ottawa Senators in the summer of 1999.
Though his tenure with the Hurricanes was short, Kevin Dineen made a lasting impression on the Hurricanes organization, bringing hard work and class to the young franchise and providing an example for other team Captains to come. Dineen finished his Hurricanes career with 15 goals and 26 assists for 41 points in 121 games played, while picking up 202 penalty minutes.
Today, Kevin Dineen is the head coach of the Portland Pirates of the AHL where he has been since 2005 and is one of only 5 NHL players in the world to amass over 350 goals while picking up over 2000 penalty minutes.
“Part II: Keith Primeau” will be up sometime in the next week or so… until then Caniacs.
About the Author
Written by Chris Cote
Originally from Cadillac, Saskatchewan, I've been a Hurricanes/Whalers fan for as long as anyone can remember. I have completed two years of Journalism studies from the University of Regina and love to write...