On June 22, 2007, Claude Julien was named the head coach of the Boston Bruins. On Feb. 7, 2017, he was relieved of his duties.
That was almost a decade in tenure, now wiped out.
On Oct. 16, 2008, Joel Quenneville was named head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s still here, as he should be.
And with Julien’s firing, Quenneville is now the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL, with nearly a full year on the Coyotes’ Dave Tippett, and over three on the Kings’ Darryl Sutter.
Think of it this way: 18 head coaches - over half of the NHL - were hired within the last two years. This is a profession with a ton of turnover (we are just over a month into 2017 and there have already been three coaches fired this year alone), but Quenneville has defied the trend and stuck around.
Of course, since he took over the Blackhawks made it back into the playoffs for the first time in five years, and then went on to win three Stanley Cups, so he’s also been pretty much the most successful coach over his tenure, too. Teams don’t win back-to-back Cups nowadays, so the Hawks are as close to a modern day dynasty as one can get.
So Quenneville being the NHL’s longest-tenured coach? Absolutely deserved.
And with the Hawks looking comfortably poised to once again be one of the top three teams in the Central Division this season - amidst constant years of roster turnover and salary cap struggles - there’s certainly no reason to bid him farewell just yet.