Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Blackhawks fire 3-time Stanley Cup winning coach Quenneville

Blackhawks fire head coach Joel Quenneville Blackhawks fire 3-time Stanley Cup winning coach Quenneville
Cassandra Castillo | 07 November, 2018, 21:08

Quenneville led the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup championships in 10-plus seasons as head coach, and he is the second winningest coach in National Hockey League history. There will not be a storybook fourth championship for the core of players who rescued a franchise. Blackhawks forward Chris Kunitz, defenceman Duncan Keith and goaltenders Corey Crawford and Cam Ward are older than Colliton, and defenceman Brent Seabrook also is 33.

Barry Smith was named assistant coach on Colliton's staff, which will not include assistant coaches Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson. He was a member of the Blackhawks 2015 Stanley Cup championship team in 2015.

That's all gone now, even if the Blackhawks' brass would disagree.

"I believe in this roster, I believe in Stan", team president John McDonough said.

"We've had some pretty insane highs and you remember all the good stuff, so it's tough to see a coach and a friend like Joel go", the captain said. "If we can upgrade our team in any way, we're going to pursue that".

Sure, the Blackhawks can talk up Colliton.

The Chicago Blackhawks have made a decision to pursue a new direction behind the bench.

"It's different considering what we're used to, but from what I've heard and seen so far, Jeremy Colliton brings a lot of youthful energy to the game and he has a lot of experience on the ice as well", said Toews, 30.

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Whenever Quenneville wants to get back to work, he likely will have plenty of suitors. I've got to be myself. "I heard nothing but the best things from the guys in Rockford who played with him past year". "Stan is meticulous, he's very thorough and when you break down free agents, when you break down trades, some work, some don't".

"(Bowman's) body of work is excellent", McDonough said. "Each coach has certain things that are critical for the team to succeed and they're not always the same, and I think we have to allow that to happen".

Jeremy Colliton knows all about Joel Quenneville's legacy with the Chicago Blackhawks. They also made it to the conference finals in 2009 and 2014.

"Ultimately, it's about winning", Colliton said. "We don't have much time".

In truth, the Cup window was closed well before 8:05 a.m. Tuesday when the Blackhawks announced the change.

But Bowman's ensuing 12 months after the third Cup with Quenneville started Chicago on this path. He has previously served as an assistant coach in the National Hockey League with Arizona (2005 - 07), was an Associate Coach on Scotty Bowman's staff with Detroit from 1994 - 2005 and served as an assistant coach with Pittsburgh from 1990 - 94. He moved Patrick Sharp and Stephen Johns to Dallas for Trevor Daley, a defenseman who never fit.

The Blackhawks missed the playoffs last season for the first time in Quenneville's 10 seasons since he was hired in 2008. If that's the case, then Quenneville was set up to fail from the beginning. The cap issues, which elite teams can't completely avoid, combined with the effects of time and years of win-now deals, made Quenneville's job tougher. They are 6-6-3 this season and have lost five straight after a winless three-game trip to western Canada. "I think everyone as players in the locker room, you take responsibilities". I won't try to fill them. He rode some veterans too long and seemed to value outdated traits long after they had become obsolete. "He understands how to get through to young guys and get through to each player and get the best from them".

Flawed or not, Quenneville was a famous face, and mustache, of the Blackhawks. Joel will forever be etched into the most memorable era in Chicago Blackhawk hockey.

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