Blackhawks Coach Profile: Joel Quenneville
So far, we have covered 6 coaches the Blackhawks could hire this offseason. Most of them have been realistic options for them like Rick Tocchet, Jim Montgomery, Claude Julien, and Derek King, though I have investigated some fan requested coaches (like Bruce Boudreau, Barry Trotz, and Brent Seabrook). Today comes another fan favorite to our "Q of the Day" about coaches. I'm aware some it might be the work of trolls, but some legitmately have the desire to bring back Joel Quenneville to the Madhouse on Madison. So let's explore it.
Joel Quenneville will obviously go down as the greatest head coach in Chicago Blackhawks history. He also ended his tenure with the team as a top coach in NHL history. You simply cannot deny the man his credit due for a dominant 452-249-96 regular season record while in Chicago, a 76-52 postseason record, and, of course, three Stanley Cup Championships. One of the greatest coaches in Chicago sports history. Everything he did with the Blackhawks on the ice cannot be described any way other than impressive. So is it worth it to bring him back?
As a Chicago sports fan myself, I totally understand the eagerness of Blackhawks fans to want one of their greatest coaches back. Some Bears fans never wanted Mike Ditka to leave and could hardly stomach the tenure of Dave Wannstedt, Bulls fans never wanted Phil Jackson to move on. Nothing Tim Floyd could do would ever meet the expectations of the fans. White Sox fans had a hard time saying goodbye to Ozzie Guillen; as a Cubs fan, myself, it was difficult to see Joe Maddon depart. It is always hard to move on from dominance, but moving on is just one of those things you have to go through. Change is a part of life. It is futile to fight it.
So I'll put this plainly: the time for Joel Quenneville as the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks has fully run its course and it is over. It's over. I feel like Ferris Beuller in a bathrobe telling some fans to go home because it's over. That's how over it is.
It's a new regime. It's a new era. It's practically a new team with new goals (rebuild). Would Quenneville really be the guy to bring back? He was hired as head coach when the team was ready to win. They are not there right now. Even if the Blackhawks were ready to make the jump with a coach like Quenneville, don't forget that the whole reason he is not coaching right now is because of actions he took during his tenure with the team. He would be in the midst of a Stanley Cup chase with the Florida Panthers if not for that. The level of his involvement with the Kyle Beach scandal can be debated; that's fine. But I think the team, with Danny Wirtz as now the CEO and President of the team and Kyle Davidson the general manager are looking for a rebranding and a new direction. They are not looking to go all "Jay Gatsby" and hold onto the past.
But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy what came before. I have endless exhilarating memories of Coach Quenneville leading this Blackhawks team. All three Stanley Cup runs, his scuffles with referees, many other exciting playoff and regular season games. You cannot deny the greatness that he helped orchestrate and I am so glad he is a part of Blackhawks history. But history is how he will remain when it comes to the Blackhawks.