With the lockout negotiations still dragging on, NHL Florida Panthers Head Coach Kevin Dineen shed his whistle and skates for some fly fishing, barefoot style at the [email protected]’s The Tournament in Key Largo, Florida Keys.
The tournament is one of nearly 30 Redbone hosted celebrity fishing events across the U.S. and several foreign countries, under the Redbone banner, building awareness and funding for medical researchers to help “catch the cure for cystic fibrosis.”
Dineen not only caught his first bonefish on fly, he won the celebrity division of the competition. “It’s not the quantity,” said Dineen with a laugh, “but the quality. It was a bit of a goal of mine to catch a bonefish on fly and also to mark another quest off my bucket list.”
Earlier in the season Dineen won as the top celebrity catching and releasing two tarpon at the Robert James Sales S.L.A.M. in Key West, and part of the Redbone’s Florida Keys fall trilogy series of tournaments.
Normally Dineen would be in the thick of the pro hockey schedule.
“During the first month of the lockout our coaching staff spent the time putting final touches on our program, then we’ve spent time scouting our minor league teams or quality time with our families and their recreational pursuits,” he said.
“When we still had not started the season, I made a call to this incredible Redbone organization and spoke with founder Capt. Gary Ellis to accept an earlier standing invitation to be a part of the Redbone’s Florida Keys series,” said Dineen, relaxed from his fishing venture.
Dineen also served as a celebrity emcee during the event.
The Redbone grew from one small local celebrity tournament in 1988 in Islamorada, which Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame legend Ted Williams helped to start for CF patients like Ellis’ daughter Nicole. They raised $16,000 that first year and it’s since grown across the U.S. and internationally raising millions for scientists and researchers at the CF Foundation.
“In these 25 years amazing advancements have been made by medical scientists with gene research,” said Ellis. “They’ve not only isolated the CF gene, but it also paved the way for the discovery of the genes for many other diseases as well. New CF drug research has helped improve lung function and add a little more time for patients. It’s remarkable how far they’ve come, but there’s still no cure and our tournaments continue in full force to help them.”