Since former Blackhawks assistant general manager Marc Bergevin was hired as the Canadiens' GM, rumors began circulating that Joel Quenneville could join him as the new head coach in Montreal.
In an interview with Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman wouldn't comment directly on the rumors, but said he is committed to Coach Q.
Does this mean Quenneville will remain in Chicago?
When asked if he anticipated Q's return, whose contract runs through the 2013-14 season, Bowman said "yes" with a chuckle. A chuckle that may have suggested the rumors were far from true.
After the Blackhawks were ousted from the postseason in the first round by the Phoenix Coyotes, Bowman said there were no hard feeling between himself and Quenneville.
"Our relationship wasn't strained at all," Bowman said back on April 25 when he met with the media to discuss the team's elimination. "We have great communication back and forth. We see things very similarly in terms of areas that need improvement. So, from that perspective, I think there's a lot of synergy between the two of us."
But other issues within the front office may have been enough to make Q want to look at other options outside of the Windy City. The Chicago Tribune has also reported Quenneville was unhappy with the hiring of Barry Smith, whose role was to work with the team on their power play. A feud between the two is said to have ended Barry's on-ice role during the playoffs.
As for the players, it sounds like no one wants to see their coach leave.
"Joel is a great coach," Patrick Sharp said. "It doesn't surprise me that those rumors are out there. I think a lot of teams would like to have him, but we're all happy to play for him, that's for sure."
Quenneville was unavailable for comment and questions of his return continue to circulate, but for now we know his players and general manager would like to keep him in Chicago.
What do you think Joel Quenneville's chances are of staying with the Blackhawks?