So this segment will be where I’m looking at what is happening around the league and giving my thoughts.
Blackhawks fire Joel Quenneville- Well this was unexpected. After 10 years behind the bench in Chicago, Joel Quenneville is out. The Blackhawks are currently on a five game losing streak. Quenneville’s tenure has seen the Blackhawks capture 3 Stanley Cups and made 9 playoff appearances before missing out last year. This firing now makes Jon Cooper in Tampa, the longest tenured head coach. Cooper’s tenure began in March of 2013. 33 year old Jeremy Collitton has been promoted from AHL head coach to take over the Hawks. However be wary of Q’s status on the market. Darryl Sutter was on the market a couple years ago and couldn’t land a job despite winning two cups in LA. I’m baffled by this move. Sure the Hawks are slumping but every team does. This will have one of two effects. Either Collitton is the next Mike Sullivan and ressurects the Blackhawks dynasty or they go down in flames.
Q Rumor Mill- The rumor mill is already active. Some think Coach Q will come down here to Florida but I think that is unlikely. The Panthers had a rough start but now they should be settling down with more stability as #1 goalie Roberto Luongo is back from injury. Luongo’s backups James Reimer and Michael Hutchinson struggled without him as Reimer is 1-4-1 with a 3.36 GAA and an .885 save percentage while Hutchinson is 1-1-2 with a 4.18 GAA and an abysmal save percentage of .839. Firing Boughner with his #1 goalie just coming back makes no sense despite Dale Tallon having brought Quenneville in when he was in Chicago. Another idea that makes more sense is Edmonton. Todd McClellans tenure there has not been good. What makes it worse is that Edmonton has Connor McDavid and they’ve only made the playoffs once with him. Q helped build Patrick Kane into a star and if he comes to a good young Oilers team, the Oilers will soon be a cup winning team.
John Stevens out- A couple days before Quenneville was given the pink slip, the struggling Kings gave John Stevens the first pink slip of the year. The Kings who had added Ilya Kovalchuk in the offseason, were hyped as a major contender this year but have started at 4-8-1, tied with the Panthers for the worst in the league. Former Canucks coach Willie Desjardnais takes over. I think this is a meh move. I mean you need to motivate your team but star goalie Quick has had numerous injuries this year so far and his backup Jack Campbell has been decent. I think this was a change needed to spark guys like Kopitar as the Kings goaltending has been decent but they aren’t getting any goal support.