Robinson Fired As Devils Coach

Archived from 2001-02 season.

NHL teams

Larry Robinson was fired as coach of the struggling New Jersey Devils and replaced by Kevin Constantine.

General manager Lou Lamoriello blamed the players for Robinson's dismissal and said the team needs a coach who is more of a disciplinarian.

"This team needs a coach of Kevin's personality, structure, discipline and accountability," Lamoriello said. "The players are "underachieving. They know why and I'll leave it at that."

Robinson's assistants, Slava Fetisov and Jay Leach, were also dismissed but will get other jobs with the Devils, Lamoriello said. Devils scout John Cunniff was hired to assist Constantine.

Constantine is a former coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks. He was running a junior hockey program in Pittsburgh before his hiring by New Jersey.

Robinson guided New Jersey to the 2000 Stanley Cup and within a victory of another title last year. He was 73-46-19 as head coach of the Devils.

"I still think Larry's an excellent coach," Lamoriello said. "Larry did everything and anything he possibly could. They (players) weren't responding on a consistent basis. Certainly, it was eating at him, no question."

"Everyone feels like we let Larry down. It's not an easy situation. Hopefully this will help the team," said Brian Rafalski.

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