Dineen firing first of many moves in Florida
This won’t be the last time this season the Florida Panthers make news.
“This is just the beginning of our changes that need to be made. If our players don’t respond to this, then they won’t be Panthers for very long,” fiery GM Dale Tallon told the media on a call Friday after dismissing most of his coaching staff, including head coach Kevin Dineen.
Peter Horachek takes over as interim head coach, but the players whom the longtime Predators assistant will have at his disposal in Florida could be in flux, to say the least.
We told you a few weeks back in a Rumblings blog that Tallon was looking to shake up his roster, but despite working the phones feverishly over the past few weeks, he’s been unable to make a deal, needing to find a trade partner to comply this early in the season.
“We’re trying extremely hard every day, numerous phone calls with numerous teams,” said Tallon. “Hopefully something will hit in the near future.”
No point listing which Panthers are available; it will take less time to tell you that outside of Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and a few other youngsters, pretty much any other player is for sale, especially veterans. Other changes began almost immediately, the Panthers on Friday placing veteran blue-liner Ryan Whitney on waivers.
“It’s easier to fire a coach than to fire 23 players, but we’re on the phone constantly and we’re going to make changes as we go,” said Tallon. “We want people that want to be Panthers, and if they don’t want to be, we’ll accommodate them.”
It isn’t clear how many of those veterans will generate much interest, though. The name that has garnered the most traction is 23-year-old blueliner Dmitry Kulikov.