The Chicago Blackhawks and head coach Joel Quenneville have signed a three-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday. Quenneville, the Hawks' coach since the fall of 2008, is now under contract with the team through the 2019-20 season.
The deal includes a bump in salary for 2016-17, the final year of his previous contract, then will pay roughly $18 million for the subsequent three seasons, per Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos. The $6 million salary would put Quenneville among the highest paid coaches in the NHL with Toronto's Mike Babcock, who signed a deal worth $6.25 million annually last year.
Quenneville's legendary coaching status was never a question in Chicago. He's won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks since being promoted to head coach in October 2008 and established himself as one of hockey's premier thinkers. During his eight-plus years in Chicago, Quenneville has posted a 343-168-69 record during the regular season. With an overall record of 781 career victories as coach of the Hawks, Blues and Avalanche, Q is currently one win shy of tying Al Arbour as the second-winningest coach in NHL history.
Now the team has made sure the coach won't be going anywhere. Quenneville, 57, is now one of several members of the Hawks under long-term control. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Artem Anisimov, Duncan Keith, Corey Crawford and Brent Seabrook are all signed through the 2019-20 season (or beyond) as well.
That's the kind of continuity the Hawks have strove for and by extending Q they can help get it. And considering the unprecedented success the franchise has had under his guidance on the bench, there really was never any alternative beyond keeping this party going as long as possible.
Quenneville was originally hired by the Blackhawks as a pro scout in September 2008 after being the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. Less than two months later, he was promoted to head coach after Denis Savard was fired four games into the season. We all know how things have gone since then.