Blackhawks keeping coach Quenneville, GM Bowman despite poor season


Former Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, left, answers a question as general manger Stan Bowman looks on. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

The Chicago Blackhawks failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this past season for the first time in a decade, but it won’t cost Joel Quenneville or Stan Bowman their jobs.

Team president John McDonough told reporters Thursday the head coach and general manager will return to the Blackhawks next season, despite speculation the organization was considering a shake-up.

“This has been a very disappointing year and our expectations are incredibly high,” McDonough said. “We’re not going to deviate from those expectations but I believe both Stan and Joel are the guys that are going to bring this back.”

Quenneville and Bowman helped lead the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup titles in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

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Quenneville has two years and $12 million remaining on the three-year contract extension he signed that kicked in at the beginning of the 2017-18 campaign, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. The 59-year-old has been with the Blackhawks since 2008 and sits second on the NHL’s all-time coaching wins list behind Stan’s father, Scotty Bowman.

Bowman, 44, has been with the Blackhawks since 2001 when he joined the organization as a special assistant to former GM Mike Smith before eventually working his way up the ladder and being named GM in 2009.

“The standards are very high here,” McDonough added. “People want to put a brand on it. They want to [call it] a retool, or a rebuild. I’d like to re-win. I think these teams come in all shapes and sizes. You’ve seen a lot of teams that missed the playoffs last year that are now back in the hunt to win the Stanley Cup. I want that to be the Chicago Blackhawks going forward. I have confidence in Stan and Joel figuring this out.”

The Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues Friday in their home finale before closing out the season on the road Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets.

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