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Hawks sing Quenneville’s praises as he climbs all-time wins list

Dec 24, 2013, 8:05 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville talks to his team during the second period of an NHL preseason hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Chicago, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) AP

Chicago Blackhawks bench boss Joel Quenneville started the 2013-14 campaign in seventh place on the NHL’s all-time coaching wins list. After his team’s 26-7-6 start, he’s climbed to fourth with 686 victories. He needs just six more to tie Hall of Famer Dick Irvin.

Building a dynasty hasn’t been accomplished yet in the salary cap era and maybe it won’t be, but with two Stanley Cup championships in four season and much of the team locked up, Chicago looks like the best bet to reach that status. Its players will end up with much of the credit if they do, but Quenneville’s role has been important in this team’s rise.

“Playing for Joel is awesome. You know what you’re going to get from him,” Patrick Sharp told CSN Chicago. “What I like about him is he’s approachable on and off the ice. You can talk to him about hockey, about personal things, and he’s always there to help out the player.”

Sharp isn’t alone in his opinion. Quenneville’s players speak highly of him, from veterans like Michal Rozsival, who appreciates the coach’s understanding nature and flexibility, to youngsters like Andrew Shaw, who called Quenneville intimidating, but approachable.

“It’s pretty awesome to be with a coach like him,” Shaw added.

After Quenneville surpasses Irvin, it will be a while before the 55-year-old reaches Al Arbour’s second place total of 782 wins and beyond that, Quenneville doesn’t think he has a shot at Scotty Bowman’s record of 1,244.

He’s got another list to climb up though. Not many people have won the Stanley Cup twice as a head coach, but Quenneville has a shot of becoming just the 10th person to win a third.

  1. endusersolutions2013 - Dec 24, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    I think he has an excellent chance of going into 2nd by the time next regular season is over. What writers are not mentioning is that possibly this year, and very likely next year, he will also move into 3rd in all time playoff wins as well.

    What makes this more significant is that he has done all his coaching while there were 30 teams.

    The irony for the Blues is that Hitchcock took over for Coach Q in St. Louis. Hitchcock will likely end this season in 7th (regular season) where Coach started this year.

    The biggest challenge for Hitchcock is that the Hawks are going to be at least as successful as the Hawks over the ne3xt few years, so he’ll likely always be behind Coach Q.

    FYI, Q has a higher regular season and playoff points/win % as well;)

    And no, I’m ABSOLUTELY not biased at all!

    • esracerx46 - Dec 24, 2013 at 11:16 PM

      Hitch didn’t really take over for Q. When Quenneville was fired Mike kitchen took his place. Then it was Andy Murray then Davis Payne. So 3 coaches in between. The biggest problem for Hitch catching Q isn’t that the Hawks are good. Its the fact Hitch is 7 years older than Q. Hitch is 62, but looks 80. Quenneville is 55 going on 65, but at least he looks like he’s in decent physical shape.

      • cheliostwin - Dec 24, 2013 at 11:56 PM

        A guy I used to work with was friends with Hitchcock, back when he was the coach of the Kalamazoo K-Wings. This guy had season tickets for several seasons, got to meet and talk with Hitchcock many times. The K-Wings used to be affiliated with the Red Wings, but about 20 years ago they switched over to the Dallas Stars franchise. Hitchcock was the coach there for many seasons, then got called up to coach the Stars, and won the Stanley Cup his first year in the NHL. Naturally he brought the Cup to Kalamazoo for a day.

  2. esracerx46 - Dec 25, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Hitch didn’t win a cup his first year in the NHL. Coached 43 games in 95/96 and the Stars missed the playoffs. He won it in his 3rd full season as Stars coach. Cool that he brought it back though. Anyone check out his wife? Definitely married up.

  3. dontbsuchapuss - Dec 25, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    That’s funny thought this was about a winning coach. But it’s turned to a talk about a coach for a pathetic team who has had to screw its opponents team fans because they can’t get support for their own team.

    • comeonnowguys - Dec 26, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      You must make the worst wine ever.

  4. comeonnowguys - Dec 26, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Second-best mustachioed coach in Chicago history.

    Hint: Ditka is a distant, distant third, and only barely ahead of Ozzie.

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