After a 6-6-3 start to the 2018-19 NHL season, the Chicago Blackhawks have fired Head Coach Joel Quenneville. Not only is Quenneville the 2nd winningest coach in Blackhawks history, he is the 2nd winningest coach of all time behind Scotty Bowman in both categories. Quenneville coached 797 games with the Blackhawks and had a record of 452-249-96 to go along with 3 Stanley Cups. So who does the blame fall on here? Stan Bowman.
Much like the LA Kings the Blackhawks are paying their players for Cups already won. Yes, I’m talking about the $10.5 million Jonathan Toews gets rewarded for when he records 58 points, or yes I’m talking about Brent Seabrook who got an 8 year deal worth $55 million at the age of 30.
The worst part through all this mismanagement was the Artemi Panarin trade. Panarin had 77 and 74 points in his 2 seasons with the Blackhakws but Stan Bowman thought the team needed a shakeup after back-to-back first round exits…. So he traded him (basically straight up) for Brandon Saad. In Saad’s first year with the Blackhawks he failed to record 20 goals or 20 assists and ended with 35 points. Oh yeah, he makes $6 million per year for the next 3 seasons.
Clearly the Blackhawks have no depth. They are relying on a bunch of rookies on Entry level contracts to perform, while they have gotten good results from Alex Debrincat and Henri Jokiharju, most people couldn’t name a player in the Blackhawks bottom 6. Chris Kunitz is on the team by the way, so are guys named David Kampf, Alexandre Fortin, Dominik Kahun, Andreas Martinsen and Markus Kruger is still there in his 4th line PK role.
As I said with the Kings, you could have anybody coaching that team and you’re probably getting the same (if not worse) results. When General Manager’s realize they are running out of time, they play the “blame/fire coach” card and Stan Bowman just used his.