“Kevin brings proven leadership qualities, having served as an alternate captain and captain for several of his teams during his 19-year NHL career,” Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He will bring another well-respected voice to our coaching staff and we look forward to his contributions to our team.”
Dineen, 50, was head coach of the Panthers from 2011-13. He played 19 seasons in the NHL, from 1984-2003, and played for Canada in the 1984 Winter Olympics.
Quenneville and Dineen developed a close friendship during their time with the Whalers. Dineen replaces Jamie Kompon, who recently left the Hawks to become general manager and head coach of the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL.
“I’m thrilled to join Joel Quenneville, a future Hall of Fame coach, and Mike Kitchen, as we strive to reach the ultimate goal in professional hockey,” Dineen said. “After spending time speaking with John McDonough, Stan Bowman and Al MacIsaac it is easy to understand why the Chicago Blackhawks are considered one of the top franchises in all of professional sports. Starting with Rocky Wirtz and continuing through the rest of the organization, the measure of success is very high in Chicago. I look forward to supporting the coaching staff and working with some of the best players in the National Hockey League.”
The long view: Hawks first-round draft pick Nick Schmaltz is keeping a realistic approach in his first NHL camp. He knows this isn’t about trying to impress scouts or bump up a few spots on the depth chart. Not right now, at least.
With the abundance of young talent the Hawks have collected over the last few years, Schmaltz — who will play for the University of North Dakota in the fall — is looking long term, trying to develop his game before joining the pros.
“I’m not looking to play in the NHL next year,” Schmaltz said. “Three or four years down the road I hope to get a crack. I’m just going to take it day by day.”
One of the things he’ll need to develop at North Dakota is his skating. After two days of camp, Schmaltz was still adapting to the speed at the top level, saying there have been some tired guys with the younger groups.
“We aren’t skating every day like we are in the season,” Schmaltz said. “We’re not used to skating this hard.”
Leddy connection: As a defenseman from Eden Prairie, Minn., it’s not surprising that Luc Snuggerud received a call from an ecstatic Leddy household shortly after the Hawks selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. It just wasn’t Hawks defenseman Nick Leddy on the other end of the line.
“His younger brother, Tyler, was on my team for years,” Snuggerud said. “We’re really good buddies.”
Snuggerud hasn’t skated with the elder Leddy much, but their matching styles is why the Nebraska-Omaha product feels he can compete for a spot with the Hawks after college.
Nick Leddy’s game is defined by speed and puck movement, and Snuggerud hopes to impress coaches with something similar during the remaining days at camp.
“I’m here to get better and I just try to focus on that,” Snuggerud said. “I don’t want to hang, I want to stick out. I want to compete and show off my skating.”