Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has cemented his place among the NHL’s best hockey coaches, past or present, with his second Stanley Cup triumph. Now Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is looking to secure his coach for another few years.
Bowman said they’ll be working on an extension for Quenneville soon, and it’s something they’d like to get done before training camp begins in mid-September.
“We’re going to work on that,” said Bowman, who admits he has a busy week of tying up loose ends, the Quenneville extension included. “It’s always good to get those things done in the summertime and clear the deck and focus on hockey in the fall.”
Quenneville has one season left on his current deal, which he signed just after the Blackhawks won the Cup in 2010. For him, staying here is an easy decision.
“We certainly like being here; we’ve liked our time here in Chicago,” Quenneville said. “There have been a lot of thrills, a lot of excitement. The quality of life, being part of the sporting situation here in town, there are a lot of positives.”
Since winning this latest Cup, Quenneville’s been making the rounds with it, from a recent Cubs game to the Independence Day parade in Hinsdale, where Quenneville served as the grand marshal.
“It was a fun start to the summer: wake up in the mornings and it’s refreshing to revisit what happened,” he said. “I was excited to get some time away from the game as well. Now you’re out there watching hockey again (at prospects camp), and it creates that appetite that you look forward to what’s going to happen in the future, which is just around the corner with training camp.”
There haven’t been many negatives regarding Quenneville’s time here. For the most part, he’s pushed the right buttons, made the right calls in terms of who to play where. And two Cups in four seasons speaks for itself. Bowman talked at the draft about the desire to keep Quenneville here.
“We spoke a few years ago at this time, that we want to keep Joel,” Bowman said. “He’s done a tremendous job leading the team, and there’s no one else I’d rather have coaching this group. He’s demonstrated a great ability to understand what it takes to win. He’s got a proven track record, and players respond to him. We’re excited about that and hope to continue it.”