With a number of vacancies around the league, some in primier spots, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re attracting coaches of all calibers. But with a report indicating that Joel Quenneville will meet with commissioner Gary Bettman at season’s end, it will certainly emit strong emotions.
As it should.
TSN’s Daren Dreger reported the planned meeting.
The facts concerning the investigation and Quenneville’s involvement are clear, outlined in the 107-page report from Jenner and Block.
The meeting likely signals Quenneville’s desire to coach again, much like former general manager Stan Bowman has been mentioned as a possible candidate for multiple vacant GM posts.
But conditions, according to statements following Quenneville’s resignation, must be met if he does indeed go back on the bench.
Facts of the Matter Before Quenneville Meets with Bettman
A meeting, though, does not guarantee reinstatement.
Whatever the decision of Bettman’s is, there are facts that need to be considered before any decision is made.
- Does Quenneville understand the role he had in the Chicago organization confronting the sexual assault?
- Does he have remorse for writing a positive evaluation of Brad Aldrich following his termination? Aldrich would later plead guilty to sexually assaulting a minor. Though it was unsigned, how was it even written with all that was known?
- Is he contrite and truly sorry for everything that happened? Moreso, does it meet the statement he released upon walking away from his job as the head coach of the Florida Panthers?
- How will he ensure that this never happens again on his watch?
It goes back to what Rick Tocchet said when on the TNT panel back in 2022. At that point, the comment was in regards to a townhall meeting where owner Rocky Wirtz addressed a question from a reporter, and was clearly aggravated by it.
The response from Tocchet also applies to Quenneville and any organization that employs him.
Tocchet was blunt. “You make mistakes. What do you do? You talk about them. And you do things about it. You can’t hide it and I’m a coach. I used to be a coach. I want to know, maybe, there’s ways of hey, what would I do different? As an assistant coach, if these things happen. That’s what you want to hear.”
Meeting Will Take Place At Season’s End
The more positions that remain open, the more speculation will swirl that Quenneville might land in a spot. Bettman, however, has to weigh everything carefully, knowing that the NHL has released its own statements, and vowed to protect its players.
That cannot be forgotten in all of this. The league, its member teams, and those employed by these teams must never allow this to happen again.
But for now, it will be up to Bettman to make the final call.