Are the Canadiens interested in Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville?
It was one of the first questions asked to Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman during his end-of-the-season press conference.
How would you describe your working relationship with [coach] Joel [Quenneville] this year? Was it any more strained or different than past seasons?
“Our relationship wasn’t strained at all,” Bowman said. “Obviously, there was a challenge when we had the long losing streak, but if anything we came together as a unit.
“Joel did a great job. It’s a testament to his track record as a coach to be able to weather the storm in tough times, and our team came out of that tough stretch and we played great hockey for the last six weeks of the year.
“It was a case where everybody kind of came together as opposed to pull apart. We have great communication back and forth. We see things very similarly in terms of areas that need improvement. So, from that perspective, I think there’s a lot of synergy between the two of us.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some discord at some point. Bowman intimated there may have been some during the “challenge” of the Hawks’ nine-game losing streak.
A sense of friction is one reason why it’s being speculated that the Hawks wouldn’t stand in Quenneville’s way if the Montreal Canadiens came calling for his services. As of last week, the Canadiens are run by GM Marc Bergevin, the Hawks’ former assistant GM and a close ally of Quenneville’s.