Fired: Peter DeBoer
Hired: Kevin Dineen
Owners of a 10-year playoff drought and a last-place finish in the Eastern Conference, the Panthers fired former OHL coach Peter DeBoer on April 10 after three full seasons and an overall 103-107-36 mark. DeBoer's first campaign in Florida (93 points) had been his best, but a late-season collapse after the 2011 All-Star break sealed his fate as new GM Dale Tallon shook things up by bringing in a raft of new players. On June 1, he announced the hiring of Kevin Dineen, an NHL rookie coach who had been guiding the AHL's Portland Pirates since 2005. "I like to think outside the box and take risks ... this is not a risk," said Tallon. "I'm really charged up that Kevin has accepted the challenge to come here and help us win a Stanley Cup." Dineen's team started well, leading the Southeast Division with a 16-9-5 mark by December 13.