When I first read BobP.'s "Coach Q has been let go / fired????!!!!!!" message this morning at 9:08 am (EST) on the message board, I knew it was going to be a weird day.
I immediately took to Twitter and saw that, yes, it was indeed true.
Joel Quenneville has been fired by the Chicago Blackhawks.
It took a couple seconds to sink in. Then, I got sad. I was sad because he was the greatest coach I've ever seen at the helm of this hockey club. And I was sad because I knew it was truly the end of an era.
This blog is a thank you to Joel Quenneville.
This blog is not a Stan bashing, a pointing of fingers at John McDonough or players. Not because that's those things are untrue (don't worry my next blog will cover that + Jeremy Colliton's arrival), but because Joel deserves his own Thank You Blog.
We can go through all of his accomplishments as Chicago's coach now:
* Regular Season wins – 452
* Post Season victories – 76
* Stanley Cups – 3
* Best Moustache in the League
My blog yesterday was quite timely as it seemed like things were going to get interesting in the next couple months, however, I did not see the timing of this one coming.
Watching the reaction of the players after practice, you can tell they are genuinely rattled.
All of them – Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook and Crawford took the blame for Coach Q's demise. You know why? Because their all leaders on this team and they were brought out the right way… by Joel.
Quenneville was a mentor to these guys from such a young age and while this move might be best in the long run, he will be missed.
Joel had his faults and he would probably be the first to tell you that he's as stubborn as they come but you can't deny how much he's meant to this organization, city, players and fans.
He will not be out of a job long and will be fending off calls as we speak. It's totally his call, but I think it would be great for him to join Seattle, help with the building of that team as they go through the process and then become their 1st ever coach.
All I know, wherever he goes, I hope the Hawks don't face his "new team" in the playoffs; that is saying the Hawks can figure it out in the next couple years and actually make the playoffs again.
RIP Moustache… thank you for the good times, the bad, Q-isms ("he was OK") and the crotch grabs.
End of an era.
I'll end with this quote from Brent Seabrook (courtesy of Charlie Roumeliotis):
"He means the world to me: 10 years, three Stanley Cups. What was I, 23, 24, when I came here? He taught me a lot as a young man, as a young player."
Next up, a blog on Colliton, Stan Bowman and the immediate future of the Hawks.
See ya out there,