Former Minnesota Wild forward Zenon Konopka went on Twitter Tuesday night after the slumping team lost to Dallas and wrote that coach Mike Yeo needs to be replaced.
In the first of two tweets on his verified account, the veteran center said:
The Minnesota Wild have so much talent. All the pieces to be Stanley Cup champs- wasting years isn't fair to the players or fans #YeohastoGo— Zenon Konopka (@ZenonKonopka) February 10, 2016
Then, a few minutes later, Konopka added:
Konopka played in 73 games for the Wild over parts of two seasons before being placed on waivers and claimed by Buffalo in January 2014, the last of the five teams for which he played in his six-year NHL career. He had 30 points and 1,082 penalty minutes.
The rabbit in the photo, by the way, is Konopka's pet Hoppy.
Yeo responded this morning during the Wild practice, dismissal. He told Star Tribune hockey writer Michael Russo:
Known more for physical play than hockey skills, Konopka had one goal, one assist and 172 minutes in penalties for the Wild. He ended his career with a 20-game suspension for violating the league's drug program after taking an over-the-counter supplement.
In his postgame blog, Russo wrote: "All I can tell you is that Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that's why he ended up on waivers two Januarys ago right before it erupted in the second half. So, there's a lot of history there."
Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said over the weekend that Yeo's job is safe.
As you'd expect, Konopka's tweet received lots of overnight reaction, pro and con.
Not a fan of Konopka opening his mouth on a former coach. He was not near a good enough player to "earn" that public voice— Aaron Bray (@BrayUnes30) February 10, 2016
Konopka tweet is just a bonus. The 19 days without a win and 43 without a home win speak for themselves. This is end of era. #WhosNext— Tony Dean (@TonyDeanHB) February 10, 2016
Hoppy alone is worth getting Konopka a contract— josh (@Josh_Khalfin) February 10, 2016