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Chicago Blackhawks’ Joel Quenneville A Coaching Hero

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Jan 26, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville reacts from behind the bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 26, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville reacts from behind the bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Blackhawks’ Leader Joel Quenneville One Of Hockey’s Best

There can be no doubt the Chicago Blackhawks’ recent success has a lot to do with coach Joel Quenneville. Since Coach Q arrived during the 2008-09 season, the Blackhawks have made the playoffs every season, and they have won the Stanley Cup three times!

Even before Quenneville came to Chicago, he was hunting the Cup. He started as head coach with the St. Louis Blues in the 1996-97 season, and between then and now, teams under Q’s tutelage have missed the playoffs only twice! He loves to win, and so does Chicago.

And in case any of the fans forgot that good things did happen this season, Quenneville signed a contract extension earlier this year that will keep him behind the bench through the 2019-2020 season.

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Salary Cap Wizards

Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks’ front office deserve a lot of credit for their keen ability to build the best team within the league’s budget constraints.

Some years, the front office makes great mid-season trades, acquiring players who then help lead the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup victory. Notable trade-deadline gems include Antoine Vermette, Andrew Desjardins, Johnny Oduya and Michael Frolik.

Of course, other years Bowman and his team struggle to dig up the right guys. But come stud or dud, the Blackhawks never failed to compete in the playoffs over the last eight seasons — a testament to the hard work of both the players and their coach.

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Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Magic Man

Coach Quenneville takes the roster the front office builds, and from it he sculpts line combinations and defensive pairings. For the team, he is the chemist, the motivator and the spokesman. His passion invigorates his squad’s desire to win.

Coach Quenneville is most responsible for the Blackhawks’ recent success. There are plenty of teams that cannot win with rosters that are bristling with talent, and that points to poor coaching.

The Secret ‘Stache

Before the start of the playoffs, St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock revealed to the public a once well-guarded secret of the Blackhawks organization: Coach Q’s mustache is the source for all of his coaching ability — like Iron Man’s ark reactor.

In fact, some inside sources confirm the mustache occasionally delivers motivational speeches during period breaks. Fans often bemoan Quenneville’s line tinkering, but in reality, he’s simply following the advice of his enigmatic and brilliant mustache. So like Watergate done well, Hitchcock’s associates’ little piece of espionage helped the Blues gain a decisive edge over the ‘Hawks in their playoff series this year.

Though now thrust into the public eye, Quenneville’s mustache remains aloof and focused on the season ahead. The ‘stache recently declined an offer for a cover-shoot and feature article from GQ magazine.

Celebrities have come out in support of the coach’s mustache. Ron Burgundy expressed his solidarity with the ‘stache before revealing that indeed he owned a framed poster of Coach Quenneville. Blackhawks fans can sleep easy though. In a brief statement, Q’s mustache stated that it and Coach Quenneville had no plans to separate.

For the foreseeable future, Joel Quenneville and his heroic mustache will continue to frustrate opponents and delight fans. More wins to come.

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