Down On The Farm: Could Dineen Going To The Panthers Provide The Sabres With Their Out?
In what could be Black & Blue & Gold’s last Portland Pirates-centric installment of Down On The Farm, Chris Roy theorizes that Kevin Dineen could be the key to the Sabres buying and affiliating with the Rochester Americans once again.
Could the Pirates and Panthers unite in the future
If Kevin Dineen has a say the Florida Panthers could very well be calling Portland, Maine home for their AHL prospects in the very near future.
Dineen, who was announced head coach of the Panthers on Wednesday, indicated that he’d like to maintain ties with the organization that he called home for six seasons.
“I know where I’d like for (prospects) to be,” said Dineen in a phone interview. “It’s a quality of life there that’s unmatched. It’s a good place to develop players and prepare them to be ready for the NHL.”
Now, it’s not anywhere close to set in stone, but Kevin Dineen’s desire to remain involved with the Pirates could give the Sabres and Panthers a chance to effectively swap affiliations (though, technically-speaking, the Panthers and Amerks ended their affiliation after this season) and provide the Sabres the out clause to their deal with the Pirates. In the event that Kevyn Adams or Mike Foligno (more on that later) is named the next head coach of the Sabres’ AHL affiliation, Eric Weinrich (Dineen’s right-hand man in Portland) would probably stay with the Pirates and become their next head coach.
All of the above coming together would provide both NHL teams with favorable situations – happy affiliations with development coaches well-versed in their former mentors’ systems and styles (Adams with Ruff and Weinrich with Dineen). Complete speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the direction all of this might play out.