Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks: Re-visiting the Joel Quenneville Firing

By Jimmy Lynch
VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 28: Head coach Joel Quenneville of the Florida Panthers looks on from the bench during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena October 28, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)"n
VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 28: Head coach Joel Quenneville of the Florida Panthers looks on from the bench during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena October 28, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)"n /
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Today marks the one year anniversary of the firing of Joel Quenneville.

The firing of former Chicago Blackhawks head coach, Joel Quenneville, was highly questionable. It was a move that had many fans frustrated, and had even more calling for Stan Bowman’s head.

Coach Q will forever be a Chicago legend, along with the likes of Mike Ditka and Michael Jordan. What Joel Quenneville did for the Chicago Blackhawks can never be forgotten. He turned a talented team of young players into champions.

Quenneville became the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks when Dale Tallon was GM of the ‘Hawks. The decision to bring in Quenneville instantly made the team more competitive and fun to watch.

He became known around the city for his mustache and Q chant before the game. This is something that will always be missed during the announcement of the Blackhawks’ starting lineup.

Quenneville helped bring the Stanley Cup to Chicago 3 times and he is the second-winningest coach in NHL history. Any team would be lucky to have them behind the bench, well except the Blackhawks according to Stan Bowman.

Stan Bowman chose to fire Joel Quenneville a year ago today. After a bad stretch of games on the west coast, Quenneville was fired to bring in a young, inexperienced Jeremy Colliton.

The Quenneville firing was not a complete shock, if we are all being honest. The Blackhawks failed to make the playoffs two seasons in a row, and after a bad stretch of games this time last season, Quenneville was ousted before a bad situation became worse. Although the Quenneville firing was not a total shock to most, that does not change the fact that it hurt fans.

I am not going to lie. After the firing, I bought a ‘Fire Bowman” shirt in support of Coach Q. I do not feel the issues the Blackhawks are facing were his fault.

Stan Bowman was the one who gave Brent Seabrook a ludicrous contract that should not be on the books. Bowman was the one who traded the Blackhawks’ best defenseman, Niklas Hjalmarsson, for Connor Murphy. Lastly, Bowman was also the one who gave away Teuvo Teravainen as a sweetener in a Bryan Bickell trade.

Coach Q was not to fault for the Chicago Blackhawks’ failures in the last few years. He is showing just that this season with the Florida Panthers.

Quenneville joined Florida this summer to reunite with Dale Tallon. This season, he has a 7-3-4 record through the first 14 games of the season. Not bad for the new coach in a new place.

Last season, the Blackhawks had a record of 6-6-3 when they chose to let go of Joel Quenneville. They currently have a record of 4-7-3 following the loss to the San Jose Sharks last night. I do not think I will ever look back on this trade and say it was the right move, especially if you look at the Blackhawks this season.

CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 01: Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville talks to members of the media after the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers on November 1, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 01: Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville talks to members of the media after the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers on November 1, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Jeremy Colliton has not been on his A-game through the first month of Blackhawks hockey. After having a full training camp to get to know the players, and start building chemistry, he chose to change the lines more  often than Chicago weather changes in one afternoon.

There was one point this season where Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome found themselves on the fourth line. This is something that could have been avoided, if Colliton didn’t separate the Blackhawks’ young dynamic duo.

I do not want to paint Joel Quenneville as some type of hockey god that always has the right answers, but he is the second-most winningest coach in NHL history. Quenneville has 897 wins behind the bench over the course of his coaching career. Jeremy Colliton has just 34 wins. Hopefully, he can string a few more together soon.

I am not trying to say the Chicago Blackhawks should get a time machine to go back and change this day for the better. I am saying Chicago misses Joel Quenneville now more than ever, especially with how the Blackhawks have been playing as of late. Maybe, it will be Stan Bowman’s firing we are talking about a year from now.

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