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Blackhawks owner: “No reason” Quenneville won’t be coach next season

Joel Quenneville

Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville smiles as he talks to reporters during the team’s media day Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 in Chicago. The Blackhawks will start their defense of the Stanley Cup with their first practice sold out at the United Center Saturday. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


The Chicago Blackhawks are 11-4-1 since a nine-game losing streak that started in January and ended in February. And whether they carry their improved play into the playoffs, owner Rocky Wirtz says coach Joel Quenneville will remain behind the bench next season.

“Oh yeah, there would be no reason [not to retain him],” Wirtz told today. “He’s signed, they’re playing for him. He’s not a players’ coach, which is good, and he’s good with younger players. St. Louis is a prime example. They changed coaches and there was nothing wrong, he just wasn’t good with younger players…

“You have to have coaches willing to adapt. Mike Keenan is terrific if you have an older team, but you don’t expect him to be around for four years.”

Wirtz said he spoke to GM Stan Bowman during the losing streak and that Bowman assured him the team had not quit on Quenneville.

Of note, the way the standings look today, it’s likely the ‘Hawks will end up sixth in the Western Conference and take on the winner of the Pacific Division – a team that’s liable to finish with an inferior record to Chicago’s.