PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Former Penguins head coach and current bench boss for the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips, Kevin Constantine joined “The Fan Morning Show” this week to talk about the Penguins’ current situation.
In some aspects, the situation is similar to the one the team found itself in during Constantine’s days.
Constantine thinks that Dan Bylsma probably feels a bit conflicted right now.
“I’m sure he in some ways is feeling good, because he still, at least at this point, has his job,” Constantine said. “And at the same time, I’m sure [he’s] concerned about what lies ahead.”
The Penguins have a lot of areas they need to evaluate this offseason. In Constantine’s mind, it’s very important that they fix what actually needs to be fixed.
“From the ownership standpoint, the most critical part is that they get the right variable in terms of fixing,” Constantine said. “You’ve got to fix the right things, not just fix one thing. You’ve got to make sure the one thing you’re fixing is the most important thing to fix. So, that’s where I think the ownership has to make good decisions.”
Constantine, like Bylsma, coached one of the game’s preeminent stars (in his case, it was Jaromir Jagr), and spent time coaching the Penguins while Mario Lemieux was a co-owner.
Constantine thinks there’s a key element of coaching that has changed since then, bringing new risks to the table.
“The one way in which I think the game has evolved in terms of coaching is the relationship between coaches and players,” Constantine said. “How you have to have a dialogue and how you do need to get some input from them. But at the same time, as we create those relationships, you have to still find a way and demand that you can get aspects from the game. For instance, when you look at Crosby, Malkin, and Letang, who eat up a lot of the salary of the Penguins – those players, because there’s not enough money to surround them with every aspect of the game, they have to be very, very personal in terms of getting everything out of their game.”
Constantine went on to say that this is one of the reasons that he likes the way the Blackhawks are constructed, because they’ve invested in a core of defensemen that can do so many different things on both ends of the ice to help the team.
He also offered a detailed scouting report on Portland Winterhawks defenseman and Penguins prospect Derek Pouliout, who he saw a lot of this season.
The interview can be heard here: