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Blackhawks’ Quenneville on staying: “I love everything about what we have here”

May 8, 2012, 7:45 PM EDT

Joel Quenneville AP

The Chicago Blackhawks have come a long way since hiring head coach Joel Quenneville. That fact might not be clearer in the fact that there were murmurs about a potential departure after two “disappointing” first-round exits following the team’s resounding Stanley Cup run in 2010. You can put those rumors to bed, however, as Quenneville told Chris Boden and others “that was never in the cards.”

“I love everything about what we have here,” Quenneville said. “I have two more years left (on my contract) and I’m happy here. Nothing gave me an indication that [a departure] was on the horizon.”

That doesn’t mean that everything will be the same next season, however. The Blackhawks decided to part ways with one assistant (Mike Haviland) and keep Mike Kitchen in the mix. Adam Jahns and others note that Quenneville is very close with Kitchen but Coach Q made two stern claims: this wasn’t a matter of cronyism and he’s calling the shots as far as his assistants go.

On “dysfunction” in the coaching staff: “I knew it could be better but there was dysfunction” and Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman “provided opportunity for change.”

Haviland’s the one out of a job, but Quenneville told the press that much of the failures were on his head.

“I feel like I should be absorbing as much as anybody,” Quenneville said. “I take ownership for what happened this year.”

It’s not surprising that the Blackhawks are sticking with a coach who won them a recent Cup and navigated some choppy post-cap-purge waters, but the calls for his head will get louder if Chicago doesn’t make good on its talented core again. If that happens, he’ll at least go down fighting with “his guys.”

  1. pone27 - May 8, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Bowman, focus on re-doing the core of the roster.

    Let Q handle the coaches. This team is 2nd line center and an anything better than Crawford goaltender away from having the West.

    • hawksandsawx - May 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM

      While I totally agree that C2 is not the answer, he and emery are the duo next year. The Bowmans thoroughly believe that slightly above average goaltending and a stellar 18 other players can win you a cup. Lots of goalies have second year slumps (Quick is a good example, although his slump wasn’t as bad as crows) and the hawks FO is banking on a comeback. Second line center is a great point and I think a need. Maybe a trade for J Staal (Saad is a pitt boy and an intriguing guy) or Getzlaf (maybe time to shake things up for the Ducks). Also expect them to make a serious run at Suter. He could make every D-man better by simply being on the roster and if they are able to deal some cap space (read Hammer and Bolland) I think the Hawks have a real shot.

      • pone27 - May 8, 2012 at 10:26 PM

        While I would love to get Suter, heck Id go insane with joy, he will be too much cash. Detroit will easily over pay. If the Hawks were able to pull off getting either Staal or Getz to play along side Hossa, I would be ecstatic. I feel like Sharp would have to be moved though. Too many wingers with too little of centers. I like Saad, he showed me a lot. I would like to see him make the roster for next season. The guy who I want to see gone is Kruger. Guy cant faceoffs for nothing, and just looks lost.

        I hope Bowman really makes a big splash somewhere this off-season.

  2. hawksandsawx - May 9, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    I kinda disagree on Kruger but I see where your coming from. Sharps contract is a tough one to move (another Bowman mistake) but I really hope a big skilled 50+ point guy can be brought in, even if the cost is Saad, who I also like a lot. Stan’s fallen in love with the prospects, and while the pipeline is good, this team is built to win now, not four years from now. Also on the Suter front, the combination of Oduya and Hammer’s salary could make it up for this season (over 6.5 mil) and there are all kinds of reports that the hawks will be all in. Couldn’t agree more on your closing statement, this is the summer of Stan and I believe this is the summer that leaves them as fringe contenders (like the last two years) or having a legit shot at multiple cups with the one goal squad

  3. hawk29 - May 9, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    No doubt that losing in the first round is no fun, but anyone else think it’s interesting that two years in a row the Hawks have gone down in very tight series to the team that made it to the finals last year and looks poised to get there this year? I do think that the first round is sometimes the hardest to win. Once you get that first round out of the way it seems to give talented teams the confidence and momentum needed to get on a roll in the remaining series.

    Point is I don’t think they are a marginal contender. I think they are still right there and still have a lot of very young players that have room to grow. Making a big off season splash in the salary cap era doesn’t seem like the winning formula for long term success. I think the biggest thing they have lost from the year they won the cup is some of the grit…Brouwer, Buff, Kopecky, Ladd, etc. There was a lot of talk last off season about how they had added that back in and maybe a healthy Car Bomb will help, but i still think they are a little soft and that as much as anything is what they need fix in order to advance in the playoffs.

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