Kevin Dineen, coach of the Portland Pirates, has been called back for a second interview for the vacant head coaching position with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, according to media reports.

Dineen confirmed to WCSH television Monday he was boarding a plane at the Portland International Jetport and heading to Columbus, Ohio.

According to a report in Tuesday’s Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets asked Dineen and Scott Arniel, coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, to return for second interviews for the job, which became vacant when Ken Hitchcock was fired at the end of the regular season.

According to Portland Pirates spokesman Mark Jeanneret, Dineen said he would continue his policy of not commenting on the process.

The Blue Jackets also declined comment.

On May 4, Dineen met with Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson at Nationwide Arena in Columbus to talk about the coaching vacancy.

Last month, Dineen, 46, completed his fifth season as coach of the Pirates.

During his tenure, the Pirates have compiled a regular-season record of 219-131-23-27 record for a .610 winning percentage, the best in franchise history.

The team qualified for the AHL playoffs in four of the past five seasons.


Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]


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