Former Teammate Makes Bold Claims About Jaromir Jagr's Treatment of NHL Coach

Published October 24, 2023 at 8:23

Most hockey fans likely have this vision of future Hall-of-Famer Jaromir Jagr as a fun-loving, easy-going type of guy who would never intentionally undermine an NHL coach. A former teammate of Jagr's says that's definitely not the case.

Tuomas Gronman played 22 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1997-98, while Jagr was a member of the team. The current sports psychologist said in a new interview that Jagr's behaviour towards then Penguins coach Kevin Constantine could be downright childish.

Gronman said Constantine, in his early 40s at the time, would tell Jagr to wear a helmet (this was at a time when the NHL was transitioning to everyone wearing one), so Jagr started wearing a helmet to team meetings. He also said Jagr's response to being told not to be late to team meetings was to wait in the car to make sure he was overdue. Gronman believes Jagr got away with it because he was a superstar at the time,while Constantine was just a relatively young coach.

"Which is easier to throw out of the team: a coach earning $300,000 or a star player with a $100 million contract? I was all for the coach, though. Jagr's behaviour seemed childish."

Constantine was canned as head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins midway through the 1999-2000 season. There were rumblings at the time that Constantine's downfall was due in part to Jagr not buying into his system.

Constantine was suspended indefinitely from coaching in the Western Hockey League (WHL) in September of this year after making derogatory and discriminatory comments. He can't apply to be reinstated until 2025.

October 24   |   79 answers
Former Teammate Makes Bold Claims About Jaromir Jagr's Treatment of NHL Coach

What do you think of Jagr's actions towards his former coach?

Seems childish2329.1 %
There's probably more to it4962 %
I'm not sure78.9 %
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