Detroit Red Wings: We Want Joel Quenneville but does he Want Us?

ST LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 01: Head coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks looks on during practice for the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium on January 1, 2017 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 01: Head coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks looks on during practice for the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium on January 1, 2017 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) /

You are already well aware unless, of course, you live in a hole or under a rock that the Chicago Blackhawks recently fired their head coach Joel Quenneville.  He would look great as the Detroit Red Wings bench boss.

The Detroit Red Wings would love to have Quenneville but does he want us?  Joel Quenneville who turned 60-years-old this past September is the second-winningest coach in NHL history.  He broke into coaching just 6 years after his NHL playing career ended.  Yes, for the younger readers Joel Quenneville played in the league for 13 seasons.

He primarily played for the Hartford Whalers, where he spent 7 of his 13 seasons.  He was basically a third pairing defender who was drafted back in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft in the second round by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

After a quick stint in Toronto where he only played 2 seasons, Joel played for the Colorado Rockies.  No not the baseball team.  The Rockies were a member of the NHL from 1976 until 1982.  The franchise would eventually move and become the New Jersey Devils in 1982. Joel would play one season with the newly founded Devils before unpacking his bags in Hartford for seven years where he would be able to find some stability during his playing career.

More from Octopus Thrower

He would play only 9 games for the Washington Capitals at the conclusion of his career after the lengthy stop in Hartford.  The ending of a mediocre at best playing career would lead to a Hall of Fame coaching career.

The future Hall of Famer sits second in all-time wins. His coaching record looks like this 890-532-77-137.  That a .609 winning percentage. He guided the Chicago Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup championships. Ironically the only time JQ was able to win the Jack Adams award, given to the leagues best coach was in 1999-00 as the bench boss of the St.Louis Blues.

He currently sits second in wins to our beloved Scotty Bowman.  It would be only fitting that the Windsor, Ontario native came home to finish his NHL coaching career.  Could he eventually find that late career coaching success in the same city Scotty Bowman did?  Bowman started his coaching career at the age of 34 and arrived in Detroit at the age of 60.  Quenneville began his coaching career at the age of 38 (still young) and is 60 years old now.  Just saying.

Most franchises would welcome him with open arms, the Detroit Red Wings would be no different but would he want Detroit?  I don’t know him personally, but I think as a coach nears the end of his coaching career he is looking for a contender.

When Scotty arrived in Detroit, they had the pieces falling into place.  He was coming from a Pittsburg team where he won a Cup with Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. The Wings had Steve Yzerman, Sergei Fedorov, and Nicklas Lidstrom amongst others already in place.

The current Wings do not have anything near that talent in place.  Would Joel be interested in the “five-year-plan” that the Detroit Red Wings have sort of built?  He would be a terrific addition and a massive; I state an enormous upgrade to our current staff.  I understand the Wings are rolling of late but remember we are talking about a future Hall of Fame coach here.

When the news broke the first team I thought of was the L.A Kings as a destination for JQ. The Kings are off to a rough start this season minus standout netminder Jonathan Quick. They have a dynamic two-way center in Kopitar.  Drew Doughty is a Duncan Keith prototype.  A top defender league-wide who loves to carry the puck, joining the rush and jump up into the offensive zone.  He can also play those huge minutes, nearing 30 a night once playoffs come around.

It leaves me to wonder what Joel could do with Dennis Cholowski, Filip Hronek.  Maybe he could take Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou over the hump.  I wonder what the development of Michael Rasmussen and Filip Zadina would be. Perhaps he could take Dylan Larkin from being a star center into being a superstar center.

Would the Detroit Red Wings be willing to pay Mike Babcock type money at this point?  We would be looking at around 8 million a season for his services.  The Ilitches were not willing to pay Babcock that money so why should we think they will now pay Quenneville?  Granted Babcock may have decided to jet anyway, but the Wings tabled an offer around half of what Mike would sign.

Holland has been way too loyal to aging veteran players and has whiffed on signings on to much of a regular basis.  Quenneville won’t want to fill out a lineup card with names like Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley, and company.

I know someone who wouldn’t be afraid to clean out the closet (Yzerman). The only chance, of course, would be if at the conclusion of the season the Detroit Red Wings decided to clean house and fire Ken Holland and not retain Jeff Blashill.

Next. Detroit Red Wings: Could Joel Quenneville be the next head coach?. dark

The only way Detroit fires Holland is if they get word Steve Yzerman is interested in the General Manager’s position.  I feel with the track record in Tampa Bay along with their familiarity working together for Hockey Canada, Yzerman could entice Quenneville to Detroit.  Being from Windsor, ON which is only 10 minutes from downtown Detroit could help build a case for JQ’s services.