Joel Quenneville is hoping to return to the National Hockey League in the near future, although he’d first need to jump through a few hurdles.
The former Florida Panthers head coach resigned from the team last season after an independent investigation revealed that the Chicago Blackhawks mishandled sexual assault allegations involving a video coach during their 2010 Stanley Cup run. Quenneville was head coach of the Blackhawks from 2008-19.
Now, just over one year later, Quenneville is aiming to get back behind an NHL bench. Before he does, however, the 64-year-old must receive clearance from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.
"He's ready but he's not able to get back in the game," Dreger said. "He would like to return to an NHL bench sooner rather than later. Now, any team with interest or offering a job would have to go through the Florida Panthers first for permission. That seems to be a formality but the big hurdle, of course, is commissioner Gary Bettman.
"Quenneville has to be cleared to return to the NHL by the commissioner's office. That hasn't happened yet and there are some who think it may not happen until next season."
Bettman spoke to reporters in May and revealed Quenneville hadn’t reached out to him about returning to the NHL. He did add if and when that time comes, a much larger conversation will unfold regarding the three-time Stanley Cup winner’s coaching future.
“There’s nothing currently happening with Joel [Quenneville],” Bettman said at the time. “And if and when there’s a real conversation to be had, then I’ll focus on it at the time.
“I assume it’d be initiated by Joel, if and when he thinks it’s the appropriate time and he feels that he’s ready to come back and there’s an opportunity. But again, I’ll have to make an evaluation at that time.”
Quenneville began his coaching career with the St. Louis Blues in 1996, serving as their bench boss for eight seasons. He then coached the Colorado Avalanche for three seasons from 2005-08 before joining Chicago prior to the 2008-09 campaign. He led the Panthers from 2019 until his dismissal in 2021.
The Windsor, Ont., native is the second-winningest coach in NHL history with 969 victories, trailing Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman by 275.
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