Getting to Know our Head Coach: Kevin Dineen, 57, last served as head coach of San Diego (AHL) for the Anaheim Ducks organization during the previous two seasons, posting a 56-36-9=121 points record and a three-game playoff appearance in 2021 (1-2-0). Prior to San Diego, he was an assistant coach, from 2014-15 to 2018-19, with the Chicago Blackhawks, winning a Stanley Cup in his first year on Joel Quenneville’s staff.
Drafted by Hartford in the third round (56th overall) in the 1982 NHL Draft, the right-shooting, rugged winger played 19 seasons in the NHL, tallying 1,188 contests with four different teams (Carolina/Hartford, Philadelphia, Columbus, and Ottawa). The veteran totaled 760 points in his career, scoring 355 goals and 405 assists with 2,229 penalty minutes. He added 41 points (23 goals, 18 assists) with 127 penalty minutes in 59 Stanley Cup Playoff games
Born October 28, 1963, in Quebec City, Que., Kevin and his wife, Annie, have four children, two daughters (Hannah and Emma) and two sons (William and Declan).
The New Jersey Devils Affiliation: After spending eight seasons as the American Hockey League affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, the Comets welcomed the New Jersey Devils as their parent National Hockey League team during the summer of 2021. This season marks of a reunification between the city of Utica and New Jersey as the Utica Devils of the AHL once called the Adirondack Bank Center their home during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. The affiliation deal between the Comets and Devils is a 10-year agreement and the home opener tonight marks the 34th anniversary of the first Utica Devils game that took place in Utica in 1987.
Tonight’s Opponent: The Rochester Americans make their way to Utica for tonight’s season opener, and it is a division rivalry both cities know quite well. The Americans are the AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres and the I-90 battle tonight marks the first of 10 meetings inside the highly competitive North Division of the Eastern Conference.
Up Next: The Comets remain at home when they welcome the Providence Bruins into the Adirondack Bank Center on Friday, October 22nd at 7:00PM before their first road game of the season against another New York State Rival, the Syracuse Crunch.