Surprise, surprise: one of the most successful coaches in NHL history wants to coach again.
Joel Quenneville isn’t ready to pack it in, according to a report from The Athletic on Friday.
The report suggests that Quenneville is biding his time, waiting for the right opportunity to return. Quenneville, a three-time Stanley Cup winner and a veteran of 1,636 games as a bench boss, said he was both “disappointed” yet “not surprised” he was the second coach to receive his pink slip this season.
Quenneville, already the second-winningest coach in NHL history, sits 110 wins shy of 1,000, which would make him just the second coach in history — behind Scotty Bowman — to reach a quadruple-digit total in that column.
So, one has to think some very nice opportunities will start lining up for Quenneville. And one has to wonder, now that Quenneville has broken his silence, if that might accelerate decisions regarding some of the coaches sitting on the proverbial hot seat going forward.
Does the seemingly inevitable return of Steve Yzerman to the Detroit Red Wings push Jeff Blashill out of a job in Detroit?
If Yzerman is set to take over in Hockey Town, Quenneville would be a huge coup as the Red Wings try to rebuild themselves into their former glory.
Would Quenneville fancy a chance to remain in the Central Division with the St. Louis Blues?
Mike Yeo’s job appeared to be one loss away from going up in smoke a couple weeks back, but the Blues have managed to turn things around a little bit since then.
Colorado has now lost five straight. Perhaps Joe Sakic is kicking those tires, too.
What about Randy Carlyle in Anaheim?
Gifted with as stud goaltender, the Ducks have fluttered everywhere but in the crease this season and have just two wins in their past 10 games.
I’d mention Ottawa, but I’m not sure anyone wants to be in that situation at the moment. There is some great young talent amongst the Senators roster, but the off-ice stuff is a little too intense.
Perhaps he waits for Seattle?
Quenneville has time on his side. He’s getting paid $6 million this season and next, so he’s not going to be hurting financially.
On Friday, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun shed some light on how Quenneville’s current compensation might be affected if he was to take a new coaching gig.
We know that he makes $6 million a year this year and next and there is an offset provision in the NHL rules where when a coach gets hired by another team, they have to figure out the difference with his former team. This is pretty important when it comes to this situation. The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t going to pay the majority of his salary for him to go find a job somewhere else. It has to be the right fit. But also, it has to be a team that can afford to pay a big part of that salary that remains on that contract.
Interested teams then have a decision to make, but for one looking a rare opportunity to land a coach of Quenneville’s ilk, it’s just the cost of doing business.
Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck