Blackhawks extend Quenneville through 2016-17

Friday, 07.26.2013 / 8:11 PM
Brian Hedger  - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- As soon as the first couple of notes from The Who's "We Won't Get Fooled Again" were heard, there was a familiar laugh that bellowed throughout the Waldorf Room at the Hilton Chicago on Friday.

It came from Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, who enjoyed the not-so-subliminal message of the song as it pertained to the news of the day: He officially received a contract extension of three years.

"Coach Q" has one season left on his current deal, so he's signed with the Blackhawks through the 2016-17 season.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

"I feel very fortunate to be a part of this organization," Quenneville said Friday, roughly 15 months after a disappointing finish to the 2011-12 season prompted questions about his job security. "We love everything about Chicago. It's a great sports town and I feel privileged to be part of something special here, and winning here makes it even more enjoyable. From top to bottom, there's a million reasons why it's such a perfect spot here."

The Stanley Cup, sitting to his left, is the biggest reason.

Quenneville's regular-season record of 222-106-44 as Blackhawks coach is nice, not to mention his 46-29 record in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but winning the Cup is always on his mind.

He's the only coach to guide two Blackhawks teams to the championship, but that wasn't why he got the extension. That happened because of what Chicago's management hopes Quenneville will do in the future, with the same core of players who've helped him win the Cup twice in the past four seasons.

They're getting greedy in the Windy City, and from their perspective, greed is good.

"I really like a certain kind of intensity and passion that [Quenneville] brings, and he brings it all the time," Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough told "It's not so much what people see behind the bench or that scowl people talk about all the time. It's that he's very well-organized."

He's also driven. Quenneville has a career NHL record of 660-389-162, a win total that leads active coaches and ranks sixth in League history.

"Where he sits right now at [age] 54, he's sixth all-time in wins and has two Cups," McDonough said. "The sky's the limit, and I know that hunger is insatiable to win another one. He's already talked about that."

That hunger is what initially won over McDonough and the rest of the front office in 2008, when they hired Quenneville to take over for Blackhawks legend Denis Savard. It hasn't changed six seasons later, which is the main reason they want him to stick around.

"I think there's a certain presence," McDonough said. "We were familiar with his resume [in 2008]. We thought he'd be a good fit, and it's certainly proven to be true. Certainly, he's on track now to be a Hall of Fame coach, but he's really a good fit for this franchise. He's what we needed at that time. He's what we needed at this time. It's who we're going to need going forward."

The Blackhawks have started eyeing the 2013-14 season, trying to figure out how to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to successfully retain Lord Stanley's chalice, and the first in the salary-cap era. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman kept the bulk of the roster in place this offseason, but there was business left to finish.

The Blackhawks wanted to make a statement about their intentions for the future, and what better way than by locking up the guy who owns the scowl on the first day of the Sixth Annual Blackhawks Convention.

The mustache and victory cigars are staying put, so it's on to the business of defending the Cup in 2013-14.

"There's no one we'd want coaching this team more than Joel," Bowman said. "He's done a fantastic job over the years, and I think the record speaks for itself. We've gotten consistent performance year after year, obviously culminating in the ultimate -- winning the Stanley Cup two times -- so Joel's done a fantastic job and we're really fortunate to have him here and we're excited for many years to come."

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