It still comes as a major shock to me that Joel Quenneville was released a few days ago, the second winningest coach in NHL history just released of his duties cause the team is struggling.
As the days go on and the story unfolds a little more it seems obvious as to why Quenneville was released though. It was for one reason and one reason only. Stan Bowman knew he has been doing a terrible job in Chicago recently, Quenneville and Bowman were already on uneasy terms and if the destruction continued in Chicago Bowman was probably on his way out. Yet there is a few people higher than Quenneville in Chicago and one of them is Bowman. Bowman did to Quenneville what he knew was soon to be happening to him so before Quenneville even had a chance to talk to higher ups about this, Bowman cut the ties to save his job.
Where did it all go wrong for Chicago, lets take you down a chronological sequence of events dating back to 2013 to now. The 5-year reign of terror in Chicago caused by Stan Bowman and company.
2012-2013: Chicago Blackhawks go onto win their 2nd Stanley Cup in three years.
2013-14: 46-21-15; eliminated in Conference finals to Kings in 7 games.
Blackhawks trade Brandon Pirri for two draft picks.
Blackhawks trade Brandon Bollig to Calgary for a 3rd round pick.
Blackhawks trade Nick Leddy to Islanders for Kent Simpson, T.J. Brennan, Ville Pokka and Anders Nilsson
The Blackhawks shipped Michael Frolik to Winnipeg for 3rd and 5th round pick (John Hayden and Luke Johnson)
Dave Bolland shipped out to Toronto for three draft picks. (2nd round and two 4th rounds).
Daniel Carcillo traded to Los Angeles Kings
Blackhawks acquire Kris Versteeg and Phillippe Lefebvre from Florida.
2014-15: Blackhawks win third Stanley Cup in four years.
Blackhawks trade Adam Clendening for Gustav Froslig.
Blackhawks trade a 2nd (2015) and 4th (2016) round picks for Kimmo Timonen
Blackhawks acquire Antoine Vermette for Klas Dahlbeck and a 2015 1st round pick.
Blackhawks acquire Ben Smith and a 7th round pick for Andrew Desjardins.
Blackhawks trade Antti Raanta for Ryan Haggerty.*** (the downfall begins)
Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad, Alex Broadhurst and Michael Paliotta for Mark Dano, Artem Anisimov, Corey Tropp, Jeremy Morin and a 2016 4th round pick to Columbus.
Blackhawks acquire Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt for Patrick Sharp and Stephen Johns
Blackhawks acquire Dennis Robertson and Jake Massie, 5th round pick for Kris Versteeg, Joakim Nordstrom, 2017 3rd round pick.
Blackhawks acquire Rob Scuderi for Trevor Daley
2015-16: 47-26-9; eliminated first round in 7 games by St. Louis Blues
Blackhawks acquire Richard Panik for Jermey Morin from Toronto.
Blackhawks acquire Jiri Sekac from Anaheim for Ryan Garbutt.
Blackhawks acquire Andrew Ladd, Jay Harrison, Matt Fraser for Mark Dano, 2016 1st round pick, 2018 Conditional 3rd round pick.
Blackhawks acquire Christian Ehrhoff for Rob Scuderi.
Blackhawks acquire Dale Weise, Tomas Fleischmann for Philip Danault, 2018 2nd round pick.
Blackhawks acquire Tim Jackman, 7th round pick for Corey Tropp.
Blackhawks acquire 2017 2nd and 3rd round pick for Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen. (strike one)
Blackhawks acquire two 2016 2nd round picks for Andrew Shaw.
2016-17: 50-23-9; lost in 1st round to Nashville Predators.
Blackhawks acquire Johnny Oduya for Mark McNeill and 4th round pick.
Blackhawks acquire 2017 3rd round pick for Scott Darling.
Blackhawks acquire Laurent Dauphin and Connor Murphy for Niklas Hjalmarsson (strike two)
Blackhawks acquire Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg, 2018 5th round pick for Artem Panarin, Tyler Motte, 2017 6th round pick (strike three).
Blackhawks acquire future considerations for Marcus Kruger.
Blackhawks acquire Anthony Duclair, Adam Clendening for Laurent Dauphin and Richard Panik.
Blackhawks acquire 2018 3rd round pick for Michael Kempny.
Blackhawks acquire Victor Ejdsell, 2018 1st round, 4th round for Ryan Hartman and 2018 5th round.
Blackhawks trade Vinnie Hinnostroza, Jordan Osterle, Marian Hossa and 2019 3rd round pick for Marcus Kruger, MacKenzie Entwistle, Jordan Maletta, Andrew Campbell and a 2019 5th round pick.
This all makes sense now right? Quenneville does not decide these deals, he may play a minor role in them but there is ultimately no say for the head coach in trades. This was all Bowman and his team just completely ruining the Blackhawks core, making the Blackhawks a non-playoff team and turning them into a struggling club. The players were not happy with the firing and now Bowman has all the eyes on him. Everyone knows why this went down. Bowman traded, Panarin, Raanta, Hjalmarsson, Hartman, Hinnostroza, Kempny, Teravainen for basically nothing!
Where will Quenneville end up?
Well, I don’t think he jumps into a role just yet. He takes this season off the Blackhawks still owe him two-years left of his contract. But I think we see Quenneville in a coaching position for the 2019-2020 year. He can end up literally anywhere, any NHL team can use his services. Who may benefit most from him, Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, just to name a few off the top of my head. Where I see him going is Philadelphia, the Flyers make it pretty clear they do not like Hextall’s judgement calls, coaching style or systems, this seems like a great fit for Quenneville. Already established core, veteran players, top scorer in the league, youth on the rise. This could be a perfect match for Quenneville for Philly plus Flyers fans and the city of Philadelphia would welcome Quenneville with open arms.