In the runup to the unveiling of the NHL First and Second All-Decade Teams on Jan. 24 (6:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN), the NHL will be announcing its best plays, moments, events, coaches and team of the 2010s.
One selection, chosen by NHL.com and NHL.com International staff members, will be unveiled each day in the runup to the release of the all-decade teams. Today is Coach of the Decade.
CHICAGO -- Joel Quenneville knew he had a team with a lot of potential when he was named coach of the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 16, 2008.
Within two years he would help turn that potential into results, eventually leading the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015. The championships and consistent success are why Quenneville was voted NHL Coach of the Decade by NHL.com and NHL.com International staff members.
In true Quenneville fashion, he doesn't give himself much credit.
"We had a great run, we had a real young team that was deep in talent, skill, speed and character," said Quenneville, who was 452-249-96 in 11 seasons with the Blackhawks. "It was a privilege. When we had to change on the fly, I think we did a pretty amazing job of keeping some balance and depth and still able to have four lines that were contributing and a factor. And when push came to shove in the bigger games later in series, big players, top guys were outstanding. But the depth, the four-line team put us in position to have that balance for 10 years."
Quenneville reached several individual milestones in the past decade. He became the second winningest coach in the NHL with his 783rd victory, passing Al Arbour, when the Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 at Bell Centre on Jan. 14, 2016. He coached his 1,608th NHL game, passing Arbour for second, when the Blackhawks lost 7-4 to the Boston Bruins on March 10, 2018. After being named coach of the Florida Panthers on April 8, 2019, he earned his 900th victory when Florida defeated the New York Rangers 4-3 at BB&T Center on Nov. 16.
For Quenneville, it was all about striking the right balance with the lineup.
"Everyone's equally important," Quenneville said. "Top players have to play more. But everyone was in a position, whether they were playing nine or 10 minutes a game, 22 minutes a game, I don't think it was an issue. You have to make sure you have some balance. It's also your 17th, 18th, 19th, 20 players; especially in the playoffs, those guys are keeping everyone excited. It's not easy. That's the challenging part is [making sure] the cohesiveness is in a good place. Guys did a good job of finding that balance."
Those who played for him are appreciative of what Quenneville did.
"Sometimes I think you know how great a coach he was and how special a person he was and the more you look back you start to pinpoint little things that make you a little bit more appreciative as to opposed when he was here," Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews said. "He was obviously larger than life in the city and I think fans loved him for his intensity and what he brought to our team, his leadership.
"If you ask players across the board, you're always going to get different answers. It's impossible to be liked by everybody when you have to be a leader in that position, but he was pretty dedicated to winning and getting the best out of the group and he did that over and over."
Jan. 15: Save of the Decade -- Braden Holtby, Game 2, 2018 Stanley Cup Final
Jan. 16: Coach of the Decade -- Joel Quenneville
Fri, Jan. 17: Franchise of the Decade
Sat, Jan. 18: Playoff Series of the Decade
Sun, Jan. 19: Game of the Decade
Mon, Jan. 20: Event of the Decade
Tue, Jan. 21: Moment of the Decade
Wed, Jan. 22: Goal of the Decade
Fri, Jan 24: First and Second All-Decade Team