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  • Monday, February 14, 2000

    NHL journeys bond Dineens' love connection

    By LISA BURKE -- Ottawa Sun

      Annie Murasso never really liked hockey too much.

     Then she met Kevin Dineen. And her life changed.

     Married nearly nine years, the Dineens will celebrate Valentine's Day today together.

     Annie has accepted the lifestyle despite the roadblocks life in the NHL can present.

     There's always the possibility of a trade and having to find a new address, the responsibility of running a household while your husband is on the road and often giving up your own dreams for his.

     Annie and Kevin have enjoyed the NHL experience and say the success of their relationship stems from good communication.

     "You'll always have difficult moments, nothing's always easy," says Kevin. "But it's how you live through those moments that count."

     The two agree the hardest times are when Kevin returns home from a road trip.

     "When I get back, there's nothing I enjoy more than spending time at home," says Kevin. "But Annie's been home with the kids and wants to get out."

     It's not so much a need to get out as a need to relax.

     "When he gets home I'm ready for him to take over," says Annie. "That's when we really need to communicate."

     Kevin and Annie communicated well from the start and it didn't take Annie long to realize how special Kevin was.

     "When a mutual friend introduced Annie to Kevin she was dating someone else, but quickly ended the relationship

     GLINT IN EYES

     "As I got to know Kevin I knew he was the one," she says. "There was just something about his smile and a glint in his eyes. We really hit it off."

     "We were very compatible," says Kevin. "She's very attractive, has a great personality and is a real people person. We enjoy each other's company."

     The two were married two years later.

     Just months into the marriage, Kevin was traded from the Hartford Whalers to the Philadelphia Flyers.

     "That was really hard," admits Annie. "I remember thinking, 'what do I do?' But then I started working and it helped."

     The Dineens spent a little more than four years in Philadelphia before a trade back to Hartford and then having the team move to Carolina. This past summer Kevin signed as a free agent with the Senators.

     Life in the NHL has its perks, but they come with a price.

     Annie left her family and friends behind in Hartford, quit her job as a nurse and is often left alone with their two daughters.

     Annie loves her life, but says: "I miss having something for myself."

     But she says they make the most of the off-season and try to always find quality time for each other during the season.

     The schedule is still hectic, but Annie still sees the glint in Kevin's eye and he says she just keeps getting more beautiful. OTTAWA SENATORS



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