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Quenneville in no hurry to return to coaching

Enjoying watching game after being fired by Blackhawks in November

by Tracey Myers @TraMyers_NHL / Staff Writer

Joel Quenneville said he'll take his time before deciding when he'll return to the NHL.

"No hurry right now," the former Chicago Blackhawks coach told WGN TV on Sunday during the St. Patrick's Day Blackhawk Alumni Charity Classic in Willowbrook, Illinois, about 25 miles southwest of Chicago. "We'll see how things transpire in the offseason. We'll have to think about it. And we'll see."

The Blackhawks fired Quenneville and replaced him with Jeremy Colliton, who was coach of Rockford of the American Hockey League, on Nov. 6. The 60-year-old Quenneville has 890 victories, second all-time to Scotty Bowman (1,244). Quenneville replaced Denis Savard as Blackhawks coach on Oct. 16, 2008 and was 452-249-96 in 11 seasons. He led the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

In 22 seasons as coach of the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche and Blackhawks, Quenneville is 890-532-137 with 77 ties in 1,636 games, and his teams have made the playoffs 18 times.

Asked if he was surprised he was fired, Quenneville said, "in our business, there aren't too many surprises anymore."

"I was privileged to be in Chicago for 10, 11 years, so it's part of the business. I understand that," he said. "I know when I exited other places, the bitterness and animosity were at a different level. Here the memories are so special and so good, and the people here are so special to me and my family. It was tough. I never got to thank the fans, but I have nothing but appreciation [for them], and I admire all they've done in supporting our team and our experience here in Chicago."

Quenneville said he still watches a lot of NHL games.

"I try not to watch as much Blackhawks as I used to, but I watch most of the games," he said. "It's been a great race and it's going to be fun to see how it all plays out."

The Blackhawks, who have 73 points (32-30-9), are five points behind the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. They play the Vancouver Canucks at United Center on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV).

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