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Who Is Joel Quenneville? New Panthers Head Coach Led Chicago Blackhawks to Three Stanley Cup Wins Before November Dismissal

NHL coach Joel Quenneville has become the new Florida Panthers head coach, just one day after the team’s former coach Bob Boughner was fired, the Panthers announced Monday morning. Quenneville comes off 10 years as the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, who let him go in November. During his time with the Blackhawks, Quenneville led the team to three Stanley Cup Championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

After his success with the Blackhawks, Quenneville’s dismissal shocked some Chicagoans, while others argued that the Blackhawks' talents seemed to collect dust after over five years of leading the league. Quenneville’s appointment by the Panthers has been met with enthusiasm and optimism from some of its biggest players.

The team’s captain, Aleksander Barkov, expressed a note of approval in an interview shared on the Panthers' Twitter account Monday. “He’s a Stanley Cup winning coach and one of the best coaches ever in the NHL,” said Barkov.

GettyImages-942827704 Joel Quenneville, head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, speaks to the press after the 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues at the United Center on April 6, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois. Quenneville will take over as head coach of the Florida Panthers. Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

Quenneville started his hockey career as a player, first drafted to the Toronto Maple Leaves in 1978. After playing for more than a handful of teams, he began his career as an assistant coach. His first Stanley Cup win came when he was an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche in 1996, according to the Hockey Database. He then became a recruiter, and entered the head coach role with the Blackhawks in 2008.

After his success with the Blackhawks, Quenneville was named the second-most-winning coach in hockey history, and has already secured himself a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame, according to NBC News.

Quenneville joins the Panthers as they’ve just missed qualifying for the 2019 playoffs, giving him the off-season to reshape the team. The Panthers ended their 2019 season with a record of 36-32-14. They were 13 points away from the 2019 playoffs, and fell fifth overall in the Eastern Conference.

In comparison, the 2019 Blackhawks also missed the playoffs and ended their season 36-34-12 and ranked sixth in the Western Conference.

Quenneville has not yet commented on his decision to join the Panthers. He spoke briefly about being open to new coaching opportunities in a March conversation with NBC Sports. "It's been a while now since we've been behind the bench, so I think there's an appetite as we go along here to get back into the game," Quenneville explained. "I try to not watch as much Blackhawks as I used to, but I watch most of the games. It's been a great race and it's going to be fun to see how it all plays out.”

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