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And so begin the “Joel Quenneville to Montreal” rumors

May 7, 2012, 1:38 PM EDT

Joel Quenneville AP

Pretty interesting discussion on last night’s Hockey Night in Canada Hotstove regarding the future of Montreal’s vacant head coaching job.

Specifically, the rumor that new Habs GM Marc Bergevin — formerly the assistant in Chicago — is targeting Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville.

(Can’t embed video. Here’s the transcript):

Elliotte Friedman: In a perfect world, Marc Bergevin’s hire would be Joel Quenneville, the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. You say “all right, that’s wonderful, but he’s under contract,” well…

There is a sense, if you watched Stan Bowman’s media conference from the end of the year in Chicago, that he wasn’t really happy with some of the coaching that was done this season. If the Canadiens come calling, is there something that could be — and there is no compensation — but would the Blackhawks be willing to listen?

Bergevin and Quenneville have a close friendship going back to when they were together in St. Louis. Quenneville does have a French background — I don’t know how well he speaks it, but he apparently knows it — and I think if the Canadiens went down this route, there would at least be a conversation about Quenneville leaving Chicago and going to Montreal.

Glenn Healy: One thing is very clear, guys — there are two separate camps in the Chicago organization. It is one of the worst-kept secrets in hockey. I think, as Elliott does, that Quenneville could have an opportunity to get away.

Now, Bergevin — he has to make a pretty big hire here. First thing I do, if Rick Dudley’s there, is get him a coffee and a car and get him to go scout players. Don’t ask him who the next coach is going to be. Does it have to be 100 percent French, as a coach? [Bergevin] may, in getting this kind of a star as your coach, he may be able to make this hire and then bring in an assistant that speaks French.

If you’re wondering what Bowman said in his year-end presser that raised eyebrows, here’s what Brough noted back on Apr. 25:

—- The power play (26th, 15.2%) has to get a lot better. “The results speak for themselves,” Bowman said. “A huge disappointment this year. The power play was unacceptable to have the caliber of players we do and not have it work.”

—- In a possibly related story, Bowman denied his relationship with Quenneville was strained: “Obviously there was a challenge when we had the long losing streak — if anything we came together as a unit.”

— Bowman didn’t say this, but assuming Quenneville sticks around,  it’s extremely possible the guy in charge of the power play, assistant coach Mike Kitchen, won’t.

  1. nobandwagoners - May 7, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    How about Alain Vigneault to Montreal and Quenville to Vancouver?

    AV can maybe try and entice Bergevin to consider making a play for some AV favourites who might fit well in Montreal:
    * Luongo (maybe Price’s contract negotiations will be sticky? Send Price back to Vancouver, a sort of home-coming, and Schneids could be dealt for big assets, or perhaps Price in a three-team trade?);

    * Burrows (entering the last year of a bargain deal for the Canucks and is due a significant and well-deserved raise that the Canucks might not be able to afford; also speaks French);

    * Lapierre (ex-Montrealler, one year left. AV likes him and the role that he can play); and

    * Rome (not a Frenchy nor French-speaking, I don’t think, but an RFA and an AV favourite who doesn’t really fit in the Canucks’ line up).

    That would provide a big jolt to both clubs.

    • pone27 - May 7, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      sorry to ruin your dream, but Q is staying. Guy won a cup 2 years ago, and the Hawks, while trying to re-find that solid depth, have been playoff bound since.

      if the Hawks dump Q because of PP percentages, the dump Bowman too for making terrible replacements for Ladd, Buff and Madden

  2. kicksave1980 - May 7, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    There is some blame to go around in Chicago. Some of it on the coaching staff, but most of it goes to Stan Bowman and John McD. Since the cap decimated this team, theyve had serious holes that continue to go unaddressed. All we keep hearing is a polished marketing scheme, and about how great the future is going to be. That may work for some of the Hawks post-2008 fans, but those of us who have been there for the long haul can see right through it. All the marketing in the world won’t make this team invincible, and the window is closing. I’ve bled black and red my whole life…through the Mike Smith and Bob Pulford years…but if I were Q, O would want as far away as possible from this front office.

    • esracerx46 - May 7, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      Just relax. Realistically the Hawks need 2 or 3 players to be Cup contenders. Sharp Toews Kane line 1. Saad (insert name here) Hossa line 2. Frolik Bolland Stalberg line 3. Jimmy Hayes Kruger Carcillo or Bickell line 4. And dont forget you have Kyle Beach, Jeremy Morin, and oh yeah Brandon Pirri who was almost a point a game player as a 20 yr old in the AHL last year. On D Keith Seabrook 1st pair. Leddy ( insert name here) 2nd pair. pick 2 of Hjalmarsson Montador and Dylan Olsen as 3rd pair guys. Fill the 2nd line center, and add a 2nd pair defenseman, AND A DEFENSIVE SYSTEM CHANGE and you have a cup contender. Suter would fit quite nicely and If…big if….Galchenyuk slides outside the top 5 some of your upper echelon minor leaguers to get him. I completely forgot about the goaltender. That might be the most pressing need and I have no idea what to do on that aspect

      • kicksave1980 - May 7, 2012 at 8:28 PM

        I know they’re still not that far away, but don’t fall for the hype when it comes to Rockford and our prospects. Kyle Beach was (for some stupid reason) a 1st round pick 4 years ago, and isn’t any closer to sniffing the NHL than he was on draft day. For a forward, that’s one hell of a red flag.

        Don’t get me wrong, there is some talent there. How much? That’s debatable. In the super-competitive Central division, it’s stupid to tout how great some of these guys are going to be in 4 years. By then, most of the core will either be gone or past the point of today’s effectiveness. Stan Bowman’s unwillingness to move these “superstars in the making” in order to acquire solid, known effective players is ridiculous. Even the most delusional fan knew going in to last season that defense and depth at the forward position, specifically center, was a concern. Bowman even admitted it…and then did nothing to fix it…all for the sake of “not sacrificing the future”. When you’re a good team with reasonable expectations to win while the window is open, you don’t hang on to crap shoot prospects and expect 20 year olds to fill out your depth lines.

  3. esracerx46 - May 7, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Beach is kind of a hot button issue on the message boards. Just when he looked to turn things around at the start of 2011-2012 he was pretty much lost for the rest of the season in a fight. He had 6 points in 8 games. Not bad for a 2nd year pro. Morin is another that puzzled me. He had a really good rookie year, and had a few call-ups to the hawks and was noticeable and scored a few points. Then he had a concussion against the wolves and was lostfor the rest of last year and the start of this year. When he came back, it seems like his style of play changed. He was a lot more physical, and took more penalties and didnt score quite as much. I get youre argument that you want to win while the window is open. But, when youre core with the exception of Hossa and Sharp who are early 30’s are the oldest “core” members and most of your other pieces are early-mid 20’s, I undestand. I see both ends of it. IMO Hockey is much like baseball, you develope from within. You keep selling prospect in order to get an established veteran youre left with an old team and no farm system ala the White Sox…..Bet the Sox wished they had Nick Masset, Dan Hudson, Clayton Richard, and Adam Russel…instead they got Ken Griffey, Edwin Jackson, And Jake Peavy, only the latter was worth it.

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