While preseason matchups are underway in the NHL, a bit of drama is coming out of the Western Hockey League this evening. The WHL announced via a press release that the head coach of the Wenatchee Wild, Kevin Constantine, has been suspended for the foreseeable future.
Without much specificity into the allegations, the WHL will investigate Constantine due to alleged WHL Regulations and Policy violations. Constantine was originally hired as the first coach in franchise history for the Wild this summer, having recently moved and rebranded away from the Winnipeg Ice.
This is not the first time that Constantine has found himself in hot water, having been suspended twice already as a professional coach. In 1996, as an assistant coach for the Calgary Flames, Constantine and fellow coach, Guy Lapointe, were suspended one game, and two games, respectively, after trying to assault a fan during a game against the Edmonton Oilers. During his first run as head coach of the Everett Silvertips, in 2006, Constantine was suspended four games and fined $5,000 USD for forcing his players to only remove their helmets, skates, and gloves, requiring them to wear their full gear to eat the post-game meal, as well as on the bus ride back to Everett.
He previously had a run as the head coach of a few NHL organizations from 1993 to 2002 with the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and New Jersey Devils. After his last head coaching stint in Everett at the conclusion of the 2016-17 WHL season, Constantine spent time being a head coach in South Korea, Poland, and Hungary, before finally returning to North America this summer.
It is important to note, that prospects for the Buffalo Sabres Zach Benson and Matthew Savoie, as well as Arizona Coyotes prospect, Conor Geekie, were all projected to start the year in Wenatchee, now leaving their head coaching situation in doubt for the upcoming season. Last season in Winnipeg, the team finished first in the Eastern Conference, losing to the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL Finals.