Ex-Blackhawks coach Quenneville interested in joining Cup contender

Ron MacLean, Nick Kypreos, Chris Johnston and Elliotte Friedman discuss all the top news stories from around the NHL.

Coaching changes can be a common occurrence at this time of year in the NHL and the top free agent bench boss this off-season is undoubtedly Joel Quenneville.

“The word on him is that he is going to look first and foremost for a pathway to win a Stanley Cup,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada. “If he believes your organization is a team that can win the Stanley Cup, that’s his No. 1 criteria.”

Quenneville was fired by the Chicago Blackhawks in early November after more than a decade with the team, winning three Stanley Cup championships along the way.

The 60-year-old had one year remaining on the three-year contract extension he inked in 2016 paying him an average of $6 million per year, which made him the second-highest-paid coach in the NHL behind only Mike Babcock.

Quenneville made his head coaching debut with the Blues in 1996-97 after winning a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche as an assistant the season prior. He spent eight years in St. Louis followed by a three-season stint as Colorado’s head coach before joining the Blackhawks in 2008.

His 890 career victories is second only to Scotty Bowman on the NHL’s all-time wins list.

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