Before Joel Quenneville became head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, he was with the St. Louis Blues for eight seasons. It was during then that he played a small, but notable, part in an incident Kerry Fraser wrote about for the Players' Tribune.
In the piece, Fraser tells stories from his time as a referee. It's a great insight into just what goes into the position, especially when dealing with some of the personalities one can find on the world's biggest stage.
Theo Fleury, for example. Fraser starts his piece discussing his frustration with him; he then switches gears to a time he had to put the past aside in order to help him, when Tyson Nash crossed into unacceptable territory by chirping him about his struggles with addiction. Here's where Quenneville comes in:
I went right to the visiting team’s coaches room to talk to Joel Quenneville, who was coaching the Blues at the time. I told him we had a little problem. I told him what was said. And I’ll never forget Joel’s face. He’s such a solid guy.
He said, "Do you want me to have Tyson take his gear off?"
I said, "No, I want him to apologize."
Joel said, "Great idea," and he went right into the locker room to talk to Tyson.
Nash was noticeably shaken up when he went to apologize to Fleury; whether he realized his fault on his own or whether Quenneville got the message through to him is unknown.
But from this snippet of an anecdote, it sure sounds as though the current Blackhawks head coach has a good, empathetic head on his shoulders - and that's always nice to hear about.