Leading up to the start of the NHL season on Saturday, Comcast SportsNet will be debuting an exclusive one-on-one interview with Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville on Wednesday night at 9:00. Join us as Coach Q discusses everything from how he went from being an NHL player to the coaching ranks, the excitement of being a major key in the team's rebuilding plan and much more.
In his four season with the Blackhawks, Joel Quenneville has already made a huge impact on the organization and the city of Chicago. From his iconic mustache to the Blackhawks' 2010 Stanley Cup run, the team's head coach has made a lasting impression that he hopes will continue into the shortened 2013 season as the Hawks aim for another championship season.
However this wasn't a future he always saw for himself. Looking back to his playing career, Quenneville wasn't exactly pegged to go the coaching route.
"If I asked all of my former teammates, they're gonna say I'm 'the least likely guy to be a coach'. I was probably a character back in the day," Quenneville joked.
But as his career as an NHL defenseman was coming to a close, he realized it was time to find another job, and after attending a coaching clinic in Windsor, Quenneville was offered a coaching position with a farm team in Toronto. Since then, he's worked his way to Chicago and to a position that led him to another Stanley Cup victory. A victory that he credits the entire organization for.
"Both Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough and Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz did an amazing job right from the outset. They put a lot of things in place. The staffing, the right people and the enthusiasm seems to be contagious throughout not just the organization, but the entire city on what's coming the enthusiasm was real," Quenneville said.
And the enthusiasm will continue as the Blackhawks enter their fifth season under Quenneville. During tonight's airing, he will further discuss his relationship with the organization since arriving, as well as with his family as they adjusted to living in Chicago.
The Blackhawks' coaching staff will be intact for the 2016-17 season.
Two weeks after Patrick Roy abruptly resigned as head coach, the Colorado Avalanche officially picked Jared Bednar to be his replacement over Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen, who was among the favorites for the coaching vacancy.
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Bednar has no National Hockey League coaching experience, but did guide the Columbus Blue Jackets' American Hockey League affiliate to a 15-2 postseason record last season en route to the franchise's first Calder Cup championship.
Retaining Dineen is good news for the Blackhawks, who start training camp next month, but it goes without saying that Dineen is certainly deserving of a second crack at a head coaching position in the near future.
Dineen, Mike Kitchen and head coach Joel Quenneville will enter their third season together after helping the Blackhawks capture a Stanley Cup in their first year as a group in 2015.
Jonathan Toews was named alternate captain of Team Canada on Thursday for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.
Sidney Crosby was named Team Canada’s captain. Crosby, who claimed his second Stanley Cup in June, was also Team Canada’s captain en route to the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
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Toews, who has been the Blackhawks’ captain since the 2008-09 season, was also alternate captain of Canada’s 2014 Olympic squad. Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens will serve as Team Canada’s other alternate captain.
Duncan Keith will not be part of the Blackhawks’ World Cup of Hockey contingent after all.
Keith will focus on improving his health rather than play for Team Canada in the tournament, which takes place next month in Toronto. The Blackhawks released a statement regarding Keith on Wednesday afternoon.
"As Duncan continues offseason rehabilitation on the right knee injury that he sustained last season, we understand his decision not to participate in next month’s World Cup of Hockey," team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in the statement. "We believe it is in his best interests to focus on getting stronger and not risk further injury."
Keith had surgery on that knee last October and was sidelined about one month.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will take Keith’s place.