International Falls native Constantine suspended from coaching WHL Wenatchee

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

The Western Hockey League announced yesterday that International Falls native and former NHL coach Kevin Constantine was suspended Sunday after a complaint of alleged violations of the league’s policies.

According to a release from the Major Junior league issued Monday evening, “Constantine was suspended on Sunday after the WHL’s independent reporting channel received a complaint regarding his conduct. Constantine is not permitted to have any contact with any member of the organization, including players, while the matter is being investigated.”

Constantine is currently the head coach of the Wenatchee Wild based out of Wenatchee, Washington, USA, formerly the Winnipeg Ice. Constantine was hired when the team was sold and moved to Washington state ahead of this season. He has previously held the position with the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and New Jersey Devils as well as a variety of positions around the world including Europe and Asia.

Constantine was previously suspended for four games by the WHL in 2006, when he was coach of the Everett Silvertips. According to a Seattle Times article from that time, the coach made players eat their post-game meal and ride the team bus in their hockey equipment after a 5-0 exhibition loss.

The release goes on to say: “The WHL’s independent Player Advisory Council is conducting an investigation into the allegations. The independent investigation began Sunday when the complaint was received. Upon completion of the investigation, the Player Advisory Council will provide a report to the WHL Commissioner who will then make a determination on any further disciplinary action.

“Earlier today, Wenatchee Wild management and the WHL Security Network met with the players to address the situation and offer support. The WHL will take all necessary steps to protect the player experience and ensure strict compliance with WHL Regulations and Policies.

“The WHL will issue a further statement when the process has concluded.”