Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant penned an excellent read on former Whaler Kevin Dineen, his opportunity to coach Canada's Women's Olympic hockey team and his amazing family tree.
First he expertly reminds us that this is not Dineen's first trip to the Olympics.
It would be a lie to say that Kevin Dineen had this all planned as he sat there at Zetra Ice Stadium awaiting his next shift at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
Playing alongside Canadians who later would have hockey ties to Hartford — Dave Tippett, Carey Wilson, J.J. Daigneault, James Patrick, Mario Gosselin — Dineen couldn't have known that he'd be coaching the Canada women's team in the 2014 Olympics.
After all, the women didn't compete in Olympic ice hockey until 1998 in Nagano, Japan.
Canada finished out of the medals in Sarajevo, so Dineen will be looking for a medal 30 years later, much to his surprise no doubt. As such, Dineen understands and appreciates the Olympic experience more than most:
"The whole family is going to Sochi, it's one of those things when they get older they're going to look back as a great experience," Dineen said. "I'm getting old. It's hard to remember Game 60 in Buffalo in 1991. But there's not too much I don't remember about the Olympic experience in 1984. I don't know, maybe all this happened to me this year for a reason."
Dineen, who has coach his daughter's youth team when his NHL schedule allowed, has really enjoyed coaching elite female athletes:
"We've got full possession of the puck in their zone. All of a sudden I had one of my players changing. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. I don't think I've ever seen it before. The Cookie Monsters in the NHL [looking to gobble up easy points] are not going to hop off the ice on 5-on-3. Things like that make it enjoyable."
Lastly Jacobs looked at Dineen's family roots in the game:
Dineen's dad, Bill, played everywhere, coached everywhere. He played on Stanley Cup champions with Gordie Howe in Detroit as a player. He coached Gordie in the WHA. He even coached Kevin with the Flyers. Nobody packs up the kids and hockey equipment and gets on the road like the Dineens. They are hockey's vagabonds, the game's traveling minstrels.
Be sure to check out the full article.