Bruce Boudreau and Florida Panthers coach Kevin Dineen have something of a, umm… history. In the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs, Boudreau’s Hershey Bears and Dineen’s Portland Pirates played a hard-fought, seven-game series.
Going into the series, Boudreau and Dineen agreed to close off practices to one another, but then came one before Game 7.
“I had changed practice to 10:00 a.m. from a scheduled 11:00 a.m. start to make double sure Dineen wouldn’t be around,” Boudreau wrote in his book. “Granted, I didn’t specifically tell Dineen to stay away, but I assumed he would based on our previous agreement.”
Boudreau said it included him cursing at Dineen, Dineen making a remark about his weight and developed “an F-bomb festival that continued under the stands after practice.”
A few current Capitals players were on that team and recalled the incident in similar terms.
“We were practicing at the old Hersheypark Arena and there was a big thing with the practices being closed to the public and to the opposing team,” defenseman Jeff Schultz said. “He somehow snuck into our practice and was watching it, and Bruce spotted him and they kind of got into a yelling match.”
Boudreau wrote in “Gabby: Confessions of a Hockey Lifer” that he didn’t intentionally try to motivate his team. Did it work anyway?
“Yeah it did. It did, yeah,” defenseman Mike Green said. “They got into a little bit of an arguing match there. To know that your coach is standing up for his players, it fires you up.”
Despite the Pirates having Ducks players Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Dustin Penner all on the roster for Game 7 after Anaheim was eliminated in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Hershey won thanks to a goal by Eric Fehr.
Reflecting on his past with Dineen on Tuesday, Boudreau said facing the Panthers presents a challenge.
“They play hard. The one time we played in the finals against them, they were a really tough team,” Boudreau said. “It took us seven games and it took us overtime in the seventh game to beat them. So it’s not going to be easy.”
Asked if he had any hard feelings toward Dineen, Boudreau said simply, “No. … Please.”