Classy move: Joel Quenneville congratulates Blackhawks successor Jeremy Colliton
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Did Joel Quenneville see his firing coming? Not according to his longtime captain with the Blackhawks, Jonathan Toews, who spoke with the coach soon after learning of the bombshell move.
“I think it was a shock for him and for everybody,” Toews said. “The two of us had nothing but good things to say, and we’re obviously very thankful for what we’ve been able to do together on the ice. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get back to the ultimate goal again together, but we all know that to have gone through what we’ve gone through, we’re all pretty lucky.”
And how’s this for class? Not only did Quenneville, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Hawks and the second-winningest coach in NHL history, reach out to successor Jeremy Colliton with congratulations and encouragement. But he did so almost immediately, on the day moves were announced.
“It means a lot,” Colliton said. “He’s a Hall of Fame coach, and now I’m succeeding him. He took the time to send me a text message. He’s a great man.”
Say “aah” (and “ouch”)
Four front teeth — already in caps because, you know, hockey — bent back by a wayward puck. Around 15 stitches in his upper lip. And upward of three hours in a dentist’s chair.
Other than all that, Brandon Saad had a peachy Wednesday afternoon.
Saad was back with the Hawks a day after a bloody scare during practice. A puck ricocheted off Duncan Keith’s stick and popped him in the mouth, sending him off the ice instantly.
“Nothing that hasn’t been done before, unfortunately,” he said.
Saad wore a bubble mask over his face Thursday night against the Hurricanes at the United Center.
“It hurts,” he said. “You’re shocked at first. By the time they numb you up at the dentist, you’re feeling pretty good. But besides that, it is what it is. It feels better today than yesterday. Usually, the mouth heals pretty quickly, so we’ll take it day by day.”
Isn’t it hard to play with a mouth full of wreckage?
“Not really,” he said. “Maybe a couple more smoothies rather than solid food.”
Was Saad aware the puck caromed off his face and into the goal?
“Yeah,” he said. “Too bad it wasn’t in a game, though.”
The Hawks unveiled their uniform for the New Year’s Day Winter Classic game against the Bruins at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. The black-and-white duds are intended as a throwback to what the team wore as it won its first Stanley Cup in 1934.
Artem Anisimov was in the lineup after missing Thursday’s morning skate to be with wife Kseniia and their third child, Alexander, who was born the night before.
“It’s an Anisimov hat trick!” the Hawks announced in a tweet.
Colliton’s own third child, Olivia, was born just last week.