CALGARY — Wenatchee Wild head coach Kevin Constantine has been suspended indefinitely after an independent investigation determined he violated Western Hockey League regulations and policies by making derogatory comments of a discriminatory nature, the league announced Wednesday.
The WHL said Constantine will be required to apply for reinstatement to the commissioner should he seek a return to coaching in the league.
It said Constantine will not be eligible to apply until 2025 at the earliest.
Constantine was previously suspended on Sept. 24 pending an independent investigation into alleged violations.
The WHL said the suspension came after its independent reporting channel received a complaint about Constantine’s conduct.
The league said its security network and Wild management met with the players to address the situation and offer support.
The Wild previously operated as the Winnipeg Ice until their relocation to Wenatchee, Wash., for the 2023-24 season.
Constantine was previously the NHL head coach for the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils.
He has also coached outside of North America, leading South Korea’s Daemyung Killer Whales, Poland’s Unia Oswiecim and Switzerland’s HC Ambri-Piotta.
It’s not the first time Constantine has found himself in trouble with the WHL.
He was fined US$5,000 and suspended for four games by the Western Hockey League for excessively punishing his players after a loss in 2006.
The Silvertips were beaten 5-0 by Tri-City during a pre-season tournament that season and Constantine had the players remain in their gear for a post-game meal and the four-hour bus ride back to Everett.
“The WHL holds our players and staff to a very high standard of conduct at all times,” WHL commissioner Ron Robison said in a statement Wednesday. “We have extensive programming which emphasizes the importance of always treating players and staff in a respectful manner and there is a zero tolerance for any comments of a derogatory nature.
“Those in leadership capacities in the WHL, in particular our head coaches, are expected to set examples for our players and not conduct themselves in a manner that would impact adversely on the team environment or inflict damage on the reputation of the league.”
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