Chicago Blackhawks’ final game was punctuated by John Quenneville

John Quenneville #47, Chicago Blackhawks (Getty Images)
John Quenneville #47, Chicago Blackhawks (Getty Images) /

Before Game 5 against Vegas, Blackhawks’ coach Jeremy Colliton made a peculiar roster decision-he dressed John Quenneville, playing him on the top line alongside Jonathan Toews.

Lose, and the Chicago Blackhawks go home. Win, and Chicago forces a game 6. The outcome of the game was probably predictable, but adding John Quenneville to the line-up was not. Quenneville’s inclusion for the game that would ultimately be the last of the 2020-2021 season was the perfect ending. Period.

What better way to punctuate the chaotic ride that this season has been for Chicago than by slotting Quenneville in as wing for Toews in an elimination game?

Vegas was the better team, and the postseason was mostly about getting young players experience. But why Quenneville? Does the organization have a plan that involves him? No one may ever really know what motivated that decision.


Age: 24
Contract: John Quenneville is under contract with Chicago until 2021-2022 when he becomes an RFA.
Games Played: 9
Goals: Zero goals
Assists: Zero Assists

Rating for the year: D

Future With The Team:

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If it weren’t for that last game against Vegas, Quenneville’s season would have probably been forgotten about. He didn’t play much and didn’t contribute much. But that one game…

It’s hard not to think that Chicago sees something in Quenneville, but it’s really difficult to see what it is. Maybe that’s why I’m not a hockey scout. New Jersey drafted Quenneville 30th overall in 2014, and Bowman traded John Hayden to the Devils in 2019 for him.

Aside from being a big body, it isn’t clear what Quenneville is supposed to do in the line-up. He’s listed as a center, but unless something changes Chicago currently has decent depth up the middle.

After the Blackhawks ended up in the postseason, it appeared as if the team was simply trying to get younger players experience. Quenneville fits this approach, and he played a couple of games. He didn’t do a whole lot when he was on the ice, but he played.

With players like Carlsson, Boqvist, and Dach, it’s easy to see how playoff experience would help them develop. It’s less clear that this is the case with Quenneville, who was picked up in exchange for a guy Chicago drafted in the third round and never seemed to produce as much as he maybe seemed like he could have.

Quenneville is only 24, and he’s been about a point-per-game player in the AHL every year since being drafted. Maybe there is something there, and if given a bigger role he might be able to be an impact player.

The keyword here is “if”, and because his overall success is iffy, it’s hard to see him having a long future in Chicago. At 24-years-old he’s already been a pro for years but has somehow only managed to play in 42 games in the NHL.

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Until he proves otherwise, he’s a fringe NHLer, but as a short-term cheap depth option, he’s probably as good as anyone else.