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Blackhawks coach Quenneville gets 3-year extension

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- Joel Quenneville, who has coached the Chicago Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles in the past six seasons, signed a three-year contract extension Tuesday.

Quenneville, who's in his eighth season in Chicago and has a year left on his contract, has signed through the end of the 2019-20 NHL season, the Blackhawks announced.

"We've got a great situation going here," said Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman, who negotiated his second contract extension with Quenneville. "We're fortunate to have Joel on board, and he's been a huge part of what we've accomplished as a group. There's no one more you'd want on the bench than Joel, so we're looking for some continuity and we've had it here."

Quenneville tied Al Arbour for second on the all-time wins list (782) on Tuesday when Chicago defeated the Nashville Predators at United Center.

Quenneville cited Chicago's front office for working out the new extension, specifically Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz, president and CEO John McDonough, and Bowman.

"We're happy," Quenneville said after Chicago's morning skate. "We're in a great spot here. [I want to thank] Rocky, John and Stan. It's been a fun time here and we have a fun situation going on here. [It's a] good stretch here and [I] look forward to try to continue on."

In 581 regular-season games with the Blackhawks, Quenneville is 344-168-69 and has a franchise-high .651 regular-season points percentage. His .624 winning percentage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (73-44) is the Blackhawks' best since 1940.

"I think the sign of a great coach is to be able to get your most talented players to play their best, and that's not easy to do," Bowman said. "Certainly that's the sign of a coach who's successful, is they're able to get their top players to play well and to do it often, and Joel's got a great feel for that. So we want to keep it going."

Quenneville became the Blackhawks coach Oct. 16, 2008, and won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Chicago has advanced to the Western Conference Final five times in his tenure, and the Blackhawks won the 2013 Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's regular-season points leader.

"It's great news," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "I think it's awesome. You've seen players that have been big parts of the Cup runs that we've had get rewarded in that regard, and have that security as far as a contract goes. I think we're all happy to see 'Q' rewarded in that sense."

Quenneville is 782-451-77-110 over parts of 19 years as an NHL coach, including eight years with the St. Louis Blues (1996-2004) and three with the Colorado Avalanche (2005-2008).

He is one of two men in NHL history, along with Jacques Lemaire, to have played in 800 games and coached 1,000 games. As a player, Quenneville was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the 21st pick of the 1978 NHL Draft and played 13 seasons as an NHL defenseman with the Maple Leafs (1979-80), Colorado Rockies (1980-82), New Jersey Devils (1982-83), Hartford Whalers (1983-90) and Washington Capitals (1990-91).

Quenneville was awarded the Jack Adams Trophy as the League's top coach in 2000 with the Blues, and has twice coached in the NHL All-Star Game (2001, 2011). He will be an assistant coach for Canada in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

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