Blackhawks expect Joel Quenneville to coach next season

Blackhawks expect Joel Quenneville to coach next season

It won’t be long before Joel Quenneville is trending on Twitter, and not just in Philadelphia.

Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios was in Chicago for Thursday night’s Flyers-Blackhawks game, but it was his appearance earlier in the week on WGN Morning News where he opened up about the 60-year-old head coach.

Chelios is hoping the Maple Leafs get bounced in the first round of the playoffs, and with that, the organization elects to part ways with Mike Babcock, currently the league’s highest-paid coach after signing an eight-year, $50 million contract in the summer of 2015. 

Chelios and others in Chicago see growing tension between Babcock and the Leafs organization, and the former Blackhawks defenseman prefers to see Quenneville land in Toronto or with the future expansion team in Seattle that doesn’t start play until the 2021-22 season.

Unquestionably, Babcock’s style can wear on players, and with the probability of facing the Boston Bruins again in the first round, Babcock and the Leafs are looking at the possibility of another first-round exit. 

As for Quenneville, even his former players believe the three-time Stanley Cup-winning coach is ready to jump at another chance, whether that’s in Philadelphia or somewhere else.

“It would be pretty weird if he’s coaching somewhere else next season and not with the Blackhawks,” Patrick Kane said. “I think we all know that Joel has a big passion for hockey and a fire and a desire to win. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s coaching somewhere else next season.”

“I would be surprised if he’s not coaching,” Duncan Keith. “He never really changed [this season]. I think it’s just that competitive nature inside him. That’s what made him a great coach. The competition of winning games. There’s never anybody who loves winning more than him.”

Even Quenneville recently admitted during his first television interview since his firing, “There’s an appetite to get back into the game.” Quenneville spoke to Chicago’s WGN-TV on St. Patrick’s Day and said that he’s in “no hurry right now” to accept a head coaching position while also adding, “We’ll see how things transpire in the offseason. We’ll have to think about it, and we’ll see.”

Several Blackhawks insiders believe Quenneville’s relationship with the general manager and input regarding personnel decisions will go a long way toward determining where he eventually coaches again, pointing to the trades of defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and forward Artemi Panarin, which created organizational strife the past few years in Chicago, and eventually led to Quenneville’s firing in early November.

There could be as many as nine teams looking for a permanent head coach heading into the 2019-20 season.

Quenneville admitted he still watches a lot of NHL games, but not as many Blackhawks games.

Perhaps he’s evaluating what he sees on the ice and which organization might be a good fit.

When it comes to the Flyers, there’s a lot to like.

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The top 10 moments that make Travis Konecny, well, Travis Konecny

The top 10 moments that make Travis Konecny, well, Travis Konecny

When you think of Travis Konecny, you think of a first-round pick, A-plus chirper, currently in the middle of a breakout season and now an NHL All-Star. Konecny has had quite the career through his first four seasons with the Flyers and there will be much more to look forward to in the coming years.

For now, here are the 10 best moments since becoming a Flyer that make Konecny, well … Konecny. 

Chirp central
When NBC released "Wired: Stadium Series," Konecny officially became one of the best chirpers in the league. His quick wit during the game was iconic when he was on one of the biggest regular-season platforms in the NHL. Personal favorite chirp has to go to, “Eat up, bud!” 

Post Stadium Series dance party 
The fun didn’t stop on the ice though, the celebration continued into the Eagles’ locker room where he danced the night away with teammate Nolan Patrick. 

Speaking of Nolan ...
During the 2018-19 season, Flyers TV had a special on the youth of the team where a lot of it focused on the bromance of Konecny and Patrick. From tying ties to trying to get out of a parking garages, there’s a bunch of quality bits in there. 

The offseason with T.K.
Before going into the 2017-18 season, the Flyers gave everyone a sneak peek of what the offseason is like for Konecny when it comes to training and conditioning, his childhood town (which only has one stop sign), life on the farm and tons of fishing … tons of fishing. 

Reporting for duty
One of the most exciting moments of 2019 came once Konecny finally signed his contract and reported to training camp to be with his teammates and new head coach Alain Vigneault. The Flyers’ Twitter account had a field day with the announcement, replying to just about every "sign T.K." tweet there was on the platform. They even responded to my post about me talking about how they signed him … by letting me know they signed him. A-plus job. 

His career best
There have been multiple times in his career, five to be exact, in which Konecny wound up having a three-point game. They have become much more frequent this season, having three of the five coming in the first half of the 2019-20 season. While none of these three-point nights have resulted in a hat trick, I’m sure the next time he’s an All-Star that’s going to be a different story. 

A whole lot of fighting 
There’s no shortage of footage when it comes to Konecny dropping the gloves. This place on this list is dedicated to T.K. dropping the gloves and the penalty minutes endured because of it. 

A different kind of fight 
It’s hard to forget the impact young Zach Steward had on all of us during Hockey Fights Cancer Night at the Wells Fargo Center. No one was impacted more than Konecny. Steward had given his favorite player a "Strong then, stronger now" bracelet, worn by those who want to support him in his second battle of cancer. While it was an inspiring moment for Konecny to wear it for that game, he continues to wear it all season long and it doesn’t go unnoticed. 

“I think it really shows a lot about his character,” Steward said. “And that he has a big heart not just on the ice, but off the ice.

“Just a small simple gesture means a lot and makes my day every time I see him with it on.” 

Image credit: The Philadelphia Flyers

OT goals compilation 
This one is self explanatory but his cellies following each are just as good as the goals themselves. 

Evolving into his final form
It seems like that chipped tooth Konecny got on Jan. 11 might have been a good luck charm. Since that game, he’s averaged a point per game through five games. The chip may have been fixed but the power of it remains. 

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2020 NHL All-Star Skills: Flyers' Travis Konecny to participate in fastest skater event

2020 NHL All-Star Skills: Flyers' Travis Konecny to participate in fastest skater event

Not only will Travis Konecny represent the Flyers in the NHL All-Star Game, he'll add another activity to his plate on All-Star weekend in St. Louis.

Konecny will participate in the Bridgestone NHL fastest skater event at 2020 NHL All-Star Skills on Friday night in St. Louis.

Here are the other participants:

  • Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
  • Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
  • Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders
  • Chris Kreider, New York Rangers
  • Anthony Duclair, Ottawa Senators
  • Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks

The rules of the event are as follows, according to the NHL:

Eight players will compete in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater. Each skater will be timed for one full lap around the rink. The skater may choose the direction of their lap and can be positioned a maximum of three feet behind the start line located on the penalty box side of the center red line. The skater must start on the referee’s whistle and the timing clock will start when the skater crosses the start line. In the event of a clock malfunction, the official time will be recorded by the referee’s stopwatch. The skater with the fastest time is the winner of the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, and if there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will skate another lap to determine the winner.

Konecny will be up against stiff competition as McDavid has won the event three straight years.

The skills events will begin on Friday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN

On Saturday, the All-Star Game will see Konecny's Metropolitan Division take on the Atlantic Division at 8:15 p.m. If it advances, it'll play the winner of the Pacific and Central Divisions at 10:15 p.m.

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