Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

(Updated) Constantine has coached his last game in Houston

(here is the link from the Star-Tribune in MSP)

It all started last summer when the Wild kept Constantine and his team around after completely cleaning house otherwise. The fact that KC stayed, I think, is a huge testament to what he had done in the past with various levels of hockey talent. Russo in MSP said just as much a couple of weeks ago in his blog. Granted that was not attributed to anyone, but come on ... it's not a real big secret.

What KC did in '08 and '09 to get two completely different teams to the playoffs speaks for itself. The first team was very offensively inept and was buoyed by great goaltending. Last year, it was the other way around. This year, the division was just too good and too many times the team could not match the opponent in the first period. In other words, they played catch up way too much.

Constantine told me after the game Sunday that he didn't know what his future holds. He did say that Chuck Fletcher told him, no matter what, that he would not drag things out too far into the summer. He expected to hear something very quickly, and I expect that we will all know for sure that KC has been dismissed before any AHL team makes it to the second round.

By my count, only Dave Tippett and Todd McLellan have coached more games for the Aeros than Constantine. Those guys, as everyone knows, have done very well for themselves since then. What they had that KC never had, was an absolutely stacked team. Most of that is because the Aeros, like most other AHL teams, do not spend like Hershey or Chicago. That also has very much to do with the Wild having one of the worst group of prospects at the moment.

While I have no doubt that this will get better (only one way to go, right?) the next coach will have a challenge on his hands starting in September when camp opens for 2010-11.


Anonymous said...

Good luck, KC.

Now if they would only get rid of some real BAD dead-weight in the office, the Aeros might start looking better.

Anonymous II said...

I agree with anonymous. This and last year's fan appreciation night was a joke. Let's look at San Antonio's (last Sunday) to compare:
1. A whole house carpet cleaning by one of the sponsors to a fan. 2. A parking pass to the games for next season. 3. All you can eat for the rest of the game to one section. 4.Free soft drink for a section. 5.Pizza for a year from Cici's pizza to a lucky fan. 6. Free ice cream bars to two sections. 7.Free day pass to Sea World for an entire row. 8. Cici's free buffet coupon for every fan in attendance. 9. Free game of bowling for a section. 10. Two season tickets for next year to a lucky fan.

All we got were dumb *** coupons for things that will never be used.

Good luck KC, you deserved better.

Anonymous said...

This is sad news. Thanks, Coach! We all wish you the best in the future.

I agree with both previous comments. Every year Aeros season ticket holders get less, general fans get less. Get rid of one of the announcers (preferable the one who roams throughout Toyota Center with a mic) and spend the money on something memorable for the fans.

However, I would like to say how much I appreciate having replays at every game. That is about the only improvement that comes to mind.

BobbyR said...

To Anonymous II:

I am sick and tired of the crappy in-game give-aways, going to the same sections over and over at each game. How hard is it to spread it around during the season?

Then let's not even discuss the lousy give-aways on Fan Appreciation Night. (Not that my section 108 got any to begin with.)

How about an occasionally free concession, etc. for us STH'ers? That would be much more appreciated than the lousy garbage giveaways that we get.

Forecheck said...

What? You guys didn't use your shooting range discount coupons?

How inconsiderate...

CatTrick said...

When a team has a less than stellar season, fans inevitably blame the coach. To KC's credit, everyone complained about this season's team, but I don't remember a single complaints about KC. I'll miss him as a competent coach ... and the most intense gum-chewer of all time!

Ditto on the crappy fan appreciation nite give-aways. Many were coupons that required the recipient to purchase something to get the "prize." As for in-game give-aways, the dry-fit shirt was particularly disappointing. I was at TC early enough to be probably one of the first 100 people in line before the doors were unlocked at the Sky-Walk entrance, but the shirts were gone by the time I got thru the line. Yet, later in the season, those shirts were given away as incentives for voucher purchases.

Other AHL teams do dollar beer or dollar hot dog nites ... I think lots of fans would appreciate that. And I agree with BobbyR that an occasional free concession for STHs would be great.

The Aeros puck was a particularly disappointing promotion ... I expected a real puck, not a piece of foam. It didn't even have an Aeros logo on it! Ya think we can pay for next year's season tickets with foam money?

artandhockey said...

Try Monopoly money? ;-).
But hey, the Aeros not too long ago did send out (email) a questionnaire "What kind of bonus-give-aways fans would like to see next season?".
Hope you, too, filled that one out and let them know WHAT fans really want!
And CatTrick, you are quite right (as I've blogged many a time), the complaints were about some players, never about KC as a coach!
May he move on to better things! We will remember him as the guy who got Aeros to playoffs twice!