UPDATE: Tallon conference call can be heard here (courtesy of the club).
The GM vote of confidence is almost always a killer. Just a couple days after saying he would retain the coaching staff, Panthers GM Dale Tallon fired head coach Kevin Dineen and assistants Craig Ramsay and Gord Murphy today. The Panthers are fresh off a 4-1 drubbing by the Boston Bruins, and the players responded to that loss with a closed-door, players-only meeting in the TD Garden locker room. It seems as though Tallon (and just about everyone else on earth) felt that Dineen and his staff had lost the room, and he was likely right, as the response by the Panthers after each humiliating loss was not much better than the efforts put forth in the preceding losses.
Dineen and company will be replaced by the now-former head coach of Florida's AHL affiliate San Antonio. Peter Horachek will take over as "interim" head coach, joined by former Head of Player Development and one-time Panther captain Brian Skrudland, as well as former Panther John Madden. Horachek will at least be familiar with the upcoming callups that seem inevitable due to the efforts of some of the veterans on the club, although whether or not Horachek will be retained as head coach beyond the remainder of this season remains to be seen, as this is surely an audition for him and his assistants.
Was this the right move for the Panthers? Only time will tell, but many believe some personnel decisions beyond the coaching staff are going to take place in the near future as well. In the meantime, it's going to be a challenge for Horacek to get a seemingly disinterested group of veterans and loafing rookies to gel and play in a new system that plays to the strengths of the club, which are... um... hang on... hmm... sorry, I got nothing. Best of luck, Peter!
A press conference was scheduled for 10:15 AM to announce the coaching change. The official club presser can be seen here.