The Florida Panthers were looking for a veteran head coach with “Stanley Cup pedigree” to take over a team that believes it’s close to breaking through for a playoff spot.
Sound like anyone you know?
Joel Quenneville, a three-time champion with the Blackhawks, will be back on the bench next season as the Panthers’ new coach. He agreed to a deal that will reportedly make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the NHL.
The Hawks fired Quenneville in November, and players wondered all season when and where he’d resurface.
“I’m sure he’s going to be coaching this league at some point and time,” Patrick Kane said Sunday. “So we knew it was going to happen sometime.”
Jonathan Toews said it’ll be a funny experience going against his old coach. You can read his thoughts on it here.
Quenneville will reunite with former Hawks general manager Dale Tallon, who hired him in 2008.
Quenneville coached the Hawks for parts of 11 seasons and won the Cup in 2010, ‘13 and ‘15. He is one of three Chicago coaches in the major pro sports to win three or more titles.
He will return to the United Center next season for the first time since being fired. The NHL typically releases its schedule in August.
He was still under contract with the Hawks through 2019-20 despite being relieved of his duties, and the team granted permission for the Panthers to talk to him about the job.
Quenneville, 60, has the second-most wins in NHL history at 890.