When Kevin Constantine, the coach of the Minnesota Wild’s AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros was hired in 2007, the Wild regarded Constantine as the heir apparent to Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire.
With Lemaire stepping down as head coach, Constantine is among the front runners to replace Lemaire.
What Constantine brings to the Wild is the same kind of strict coaching style that Lemaire brought to the team.
Most importantly Constantine gets results but Wild GM Doug Risebrough will make a major mistake hiring Constantine.
Lemaire was successful in Minnesota but Risebrough needs to change of the culture and playing style of the team. Top tier Players don‚Äôt want to play in a tight defensive/trapping style that Constantine and Lemaire implement.
The Wild have lost Brian Rolston, Pavel Demitra over the past season, will lose Marian Gaborik and have failed to land top tier free agents.
Risebrough was very active in free agency last summer offering Marian Hossa a 6 year deal worth $51 million, in the hopes of luring Marian Gaborik‚Äôs best friend to Minnesota.
Risebrough was also in strong pursuit of MarKus Naslund and Kristian Huselius. All three players had minimal interest in joining Minnesota.
Constantine is a great coach for a team rebuilding with young players but not for a borderline playoff team with veteran players. Constantine has not adapted to the new age player.
He makes life miserable for players as it is hockey 24/7 with a ton of video instruction. Constantine is the perfect kind of coach for a team like the New York Islanders but not for the Minnesota Wild who need to move in another direction from the Lemaire coaching tree.
If the Wild decide to look outside the organization, Guy Carbonneau, Tom Renney, Peter Laviolette are getting mentioned right now.
On the assistant coach market, one name expected to get serious consideration for a head coaching job this summer is
San Jose assistant coach Todd Richards. Richards will be at the top of Ray Shero‚Äôs wishlist, if Shero decides not to retain interim head coach Dan Bylsma.
Shero and Risebrough have a close relationship and Shero won‚Äôt be giving a recommendation for Michel Therrien, but he will for Todd Richards.