|What can I say? Kevin Dineen is my favorite hockey
Leader. Warrior. Heart.
These words aptly describe NHL stalwart Kevin Dineen. One could tack on a list of many more to the above, but those IMHO are the big 3.
Everyone knows that hockey players are a breed unto their own. Tough grizzled guys that play all out whether or not theyre 100% themselves. Calling them warriors would be appropriate. With 17 NHL seasons under his belt, Dineen has always played like hes bigger than what he really is cannonballing across the ice, fore and backchecking like a mother, bouncing opponents off the boards as well as dropping the mitts if need be. Playing the role of master instigator to perfection. His body isnt a temple; its a weapon.
When Kevins on the ice, one can sense the love for the game rolling off of him giving him that endless supply of energy. It doesnt matter what the score is or what period it is, that passion is always there. And in turn the other guys on the team feed off of that and it gives them a bit more jump to their step. I dont really know what it is about Kev, but you can see a difference in the way the team plays when hes in the line-up as opposed to when hes not. He becomes the spiritual guide of the team. Just watching him during practices and games, you can feel the leadership ooze off of him. I can only imagine how invaluable he is in the locker room.
Off the ice, he is as giving as he is on it, perhaps even more so. He is active within the community participating in many charities the Crohns & Colitis Foundation (he is diagnosed w/ Crohns, a painful & potentially fatal intestinal disease), Special Olympics, the Jimmy V Foundation as well as attending various cancer-related fundraisers. He also enjoys interacting with fans of all ages. Not many players sign as many autos as he does and even fewer want to get to know the fans themselves as he does. Ive watched in awe as Kevin has tossed pucks to the youngest fans during practices and pre-game skates. Countless times, hes been the last to leave the ice, usually booking it to the locker room. During practices, hes taken young fans onto the ice to chat and horse around with.
On picking #11..."I would have liked to have had No. 9, but the damn thing was in the rafters because of some Gordie Howe guy. I was good friends with Gordie, but I certainly wasn't going to ask for his number. I took 11. I like 11. It's just a good number. Double bars. Deuce. That's what they used to call me."
On playing in Columbus..."I'm not sure if they [Carolina Hurricanes] realize it now or not, but I know they will after the game [played 12/29/00]. Once they see this arena and our fans and realize what they have back home... I've said it before, and I'm not just saying this. I'm not running for office or anything. Columbus has a chance to be a real destination in the NHL. It can become one of the truly special cities in the entire league."
"What surprised me, probably more than anything, is the fans. I was a little reticent about the new-team setup after my two years in Carolina. And to get the response, the way the whole town has embraced us, is something that is special."
On his contributions to the team...
"I have lots of confidence in my ability. I'm getting more of a chance to play here and the puck goes in. The last time I put any points up was when I was playing wth Andrew Cassels. Then I was playing with Kent Manderville. I would like to think I can get in double figures and still play the role I'm playing. It's nice to have an impact in the outcome every now and then."
On the way he plays...
"It's really the only way I know how to play. That's how I had to play to get by as a young kid. I don't think I can turn that part of me off."
On retirement & playing the best sport in the world...
"It's been 17 years since I've been getting paid to play hockey. By now it's pretty ingrained in my way of life. Whenever I take the skates off and hang them up for the final time, it's going to be a real adjustment.
To participate in something at its highest level is a dream come true, and I've been blessed to do it for 17 years. People pay to come watch you work. To me, thaat's a tremendous honor, and I try to live up to it every time I step on the ice.
Plus, I like the idea of being able to judge yourself every day. You either win or you lose. When you get up in the morning, you know exactly where you stand.
I know it's going to end relatively soon, but every time I step on the ice I feel like I owe those people up in the stands. They deserve everything I've got.
That way, when it comes time to look back on my career, I'll know I gave it everything I had. And, even with the aches and the pains I'll probably have, it'll be worth it."
In the News...
Kev's ahead of schedule with rehabbing that knee of his.
He's pretty much come to an agreement with Doug to come back for another season (his final one) then perhaps step into a player developement position with the Jackets organization.
Photo of the Week
7/22 - 7/28
Position: Right Wing
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