The Florida Panthers announced today that head coach Kevin Dineen, assistant coach Gord Murphy, and assistant coach Craig Ramsay have been relieved of their coaching duties. Dale Tallon has made it clear this is only the first of many changes to come for the 3-9-4 Panthers.

“After 16 games it was clear that our team needed a change in philosophy and direction,” said Tallon. “We have not met the expectations that we set forth at training camp and it is my responsibility to make the necessary changes to ensure that our club performs at its maximum potential. We thank Kevin, Gord and Craig for their hard work and dedication to our organization and the professionalism that they displayed throughout their tenure.”

Tallon expressed that Florida’s problems extend beyond coaching and said in a conference call today “Our better players have to start playing better or we will get better players.” He also admitted that he has been talking “with numerous teams” discussing trade possibilities.

“We want people who want to be Panthers and if they don’t want to be Panthers, we’ll accommodate them,” he said. “I’m dissatisfied with the effort from most of the guys and they need to be better.”

Tallon “accommodated” players like Nathan Horton, who expressed he didn’t want to be here, when he became General Manager in 2010. His philosophy in Chicago and here in Florida has been to keep players who want to be a part of the organization.

Florida has called up Peter Horachek from the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage to serve as the interim head coach. Former Panthers Brian Skrudland and John Madden have been named assistant coaches.

Tallon said Dineen’s and the coaching staff’s message was no longer getting through to the players, blaming some in the locker room for the problem.

“If the players don’t respond to this, well, they won’t be Panthers for very long,” he said.

Born in the “non-traditional” hockey market of South Florida, Elizabeth (Beth) quickly grew to love the sport at a very young age after her Buffalo-bred family introduced her to the Sabres. High school friends who didn’t care about hockey couldn't understand her withdrawals during the 2004-05 lockout, but college would bring a hockey loving boyfriend (and best friend) to whom she could finally relate. A South Florida native himself, and an avid Florida Panthers fan, he got her into the home team. Together they work for their college hockey club (the FAU Owls), broadcasting games. Beth is a huge USA Hockey fan and hopes to see them win Olympic gold in her lifetime. Between her 2 favorite NHL teams, her college squad, and USA Hockey, it's hard to tell which team she loves most, but she is passionate about them all.

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