Ex-Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville bound for Flyers — or is he?
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A whirlwind of a day for the Blackhawks, which included a 7-3 loss to the Sharks and another concussion for goalie Corey Crawford, began with a dubious report that technically didn’t have anything to do with them.
On Sunday afternoon, the South Jersey-based Courier-Post reported that Flyers coach Dave Hakstol had been fired and that former Hawks coach Joel Quenneville had been hired to replace him. The report made the rounds in a hurry, but it soon was refuted by various reporters and outlets.
TSN reported no decision had been made on Hakstol’s status. The Flyers denied to the Philadelphia Inquirer that Hakstol’s status with the team had changed. Fox Sports Midwest reported Quenneville denied accepting the job with the Flyers.
Quenneville did not respond to a Sun-Times request for comment.
The Hawks fired Quenneville, a three-time Stanley Cup champion in Chicago, last month and replaced him with Jeremy Colliton. There were some boos for Colliton during pregame introductions Sunday, with fans perhaps wondering anew why their team let a coaching icon get away in the first place.
Quenneville is the Hawks’ all-time leader in winning percentage, ranks second in NHL history with 890 career victories and is the only coach to win multiple titles with the franchise. But the Hawks tapered off after winning the 2015 Cup, losing in the first round each of the next two seasons and missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2008.
‘‘I have a lot of respect for him as a coach,’’ said defenseman Duncan Keith, who was part of Quenneville’s entire 10-plus-season run with the Hawks. ‘‘I have a great relationship with him. I’m sure wherever he ends up, if he wants to coach again, he’s going to do that and do a good job.’’
If things with the Flyers come together, Quenneville will make his return to the United Center on March 21.
Contributing: Jason Lieser