by PuckStopsHere on 11/09/13 at 04:56 PM ET
The Florida Panthers are a bottom-feeding team. They have only three wins in their 16 games to date. They are not a particularly good team. Tomas Fleischmann leads the team with 11 points. He is the only player on the team with more than 8 points (a point every second games). Brian Campbell is their top defenceman - but his defensive skills can be lacking. Their best defensive defenceman may be Tom Gilbert. Their most proven goalie Tim Thomas is 39 years old, has been away from the game for a season and is on the injured reserve. There isn't much to like here. Predictably, the team is off to a poor start so they fired their coach Kevin Dineen. Dineen had been coaching the team since 2011 and he had a surprising first season where Florida topped the Southeast Conference (they lost more games than they won), but there had been little to cheer about since.
Dineen has done little to show he is a good NHL coach, but he isn't at fault for Florida's failures. He will be replaced by Peter Horachek. Horachek had been an assistant and associate coach to Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators for nine seasons. I suppose that is long enough that he deserves a shot as an NHL coach, but it's hard to see him as one of the best coaching prospects in the NHL right now. He had been the coach of the Florida Panther AHL affiliate San Antonio Rampage since the beginning of this season before he got his NHL promotion.
Florida is not a good team. Changing coaches will not change that fact. Their biggest hope for success is a healthy Tim Thomas playing outstanding hockey in their goal. I doubt Peter Horachek will have a successful run as Florida Panther coach. I doubt any coach could succeed with this team. Kevin Dineen's firing doesn't address their lack of talent which is their main problem.
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