Thursday, May 15, 2014

Kevin Dineen: 4 Autographed Cards

Today marks one of the longest returns I've ever had - 784 days, more than two years, and ten days longer than this trio of David Booth cards!
I had sent Kevin Dineen a fan letter and 5 cards on March 22nd, 2012, care of the Florida Panthers, and got these four back today (May 15th, 2014), signed in black sharpie, with his jersey number (11) tagged at the end.

Dineen was a heart-and-soul star player for half of the 1980s and most of the 1990s. For a long time, he and Ron Francis were the only decent players on the Hartford Whalers, and Dineen was the associate captain while Francis wore the 'C'. Dineen was a point-per-game player who also usually reached the 160 penalty-minute plateau (with a high of 217 in 1987-88).

Soon after the 1991-92 season began, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for Murray Craven; ironically, the Flyers owned the pick that got Dineen drafted in the first place (56th overall in 1982), which they'd traded to the Whalers. And it was more than just one instance of going full circle, as the Flyers' coach at the time of his arrival was Bill Dineen - his father. Both of them were born in Québec, though Kevin's brothers - former NHLers Gord and Peter Dineen - were born in Ontario; only Gord considers himself an American.

Kevin's statistics faltered a bit in Philadelphia, possibly because of the toll he'd put his body through since the beginning of his career, but also perhaps due to the Dead Puck Era; still, the Flyers elected to make him their captain for the 1993-94 season. They stripped him of his captaincy to hand it to Eric Lindros the following season.

He was sent back to the Whalers' organization, and eventually made their captain as well. He scored the last goal of the Whalers part of the franchise and followed the team as they became the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997-98. They too stripped him of the captaincy, handing it to (future Flyer) Keith Primeau for the 1998-99 season.

He closed out his career with one season as a member of the Ottawa Senators, and two seasons plus 4 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets; all told, he played in 1188 regular-season NHL games, scored 355 goals, had 760 points and 2229 penalty minutes (plus 23 goals, 41 points, and 127 penalty minutes in 59 playoff games), played for Team Canada at numerous World Championships and for the NHL at Rendez-Vous '87 in his home town.

After his playing career, he coached the AHL's Portland Pirates for 6 seasons, and the NHL's Florida Panthers for two and a quarter seasons; when he was fired from the Panthers, he was named the Canadian womens' hockey team's head coach, and promptly won the gold medal.

I thought I had sent a card of him wearing the Whalers' white (home) uniform, but that may be the one he kept. Instead, I have these two of him in the green (away) uniform, with the alternate captain's 'A':
On the left, skating into a play, is card #261 of Topps' 1990-91 Bowman set; on the right, from Topps' 1991-92 Stadium Club (card #162), he appears to have just gotten on the ice from the players' bench, and it seems he's holding his stick backwards.

And here's two of him with the Flyers, with the 1991-92 All-Star Game patch on the left shoulder and the NHL's 75th anniversary patch on the right:
On the left, wearing the white (home) uniform, card #284 of Pinnacle Brands' 1992-93 Score, in full puck possession; on the right, looking ready to enter the play or gearing up for a huge hit, we have sticker #186 of Panini's 1992-93 Panini collection to go in their sticker album.

I was done hoping this one would ever make its way back to me; I have been proven wrong.


  1. My cousin Kevin is a great guy - glad you got these cards signed. I'll text him this link to have a look. cheers!

    1. I had mentioned in my fan letter that I was going to post this on my blog with a link.

      I'm glad you say he's a great guy - I had tremendous respect for him as a player, even though he never played for "my" teams (Nordiques, Oilers, Habs), which is probably a testament to how he played the game.