Joel Quenneville taking over as Philadelphia Flyers head coach isn’t as far-fetched an idea as one would believe.
On Tuesday, both Flyers president Paul Holmgren and Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO Dave Scott spoke to the media about the firing of executive vice president and general manager Ron Hextall.
Among the topics discussed at the press conference was Hextall’s desire to not waiver from his plan and the speculation that he did not want to fire head coach Dave Hakstol, whom he hired back in 2015.
Holmgren immediately denied that was not the case, but did mention that Hakstol’s job security will depend on the team’s next general.
“It was Ron’s decision all along, and it was never discussed with me. My feeling right now is that under the circumstances, with the injuries, I think the coaching staff has done a decent job,” said Holmgren (h/t ESPN).
Therefore, if Hakstol cannot turn the things around in the next coming months, could the former Chicago Blackhawks head coach Quenneville be the next guy behind the bench for the Flyers?
According to Dave Issac of the Courier-Post, Scott did not shoot down the idea. In fact, he said that Quenneville’s name came up when the Blackhawks let him go earlier this month, but Hextall wanted to stick to his own path.
Just like Hextall, Chicago let go Quenneville after they got off to a slow start (6-6-3) to begin the regular season. The 60-year-old head coach led Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013, 2015) and was the second-winningest coach in franchise history.
Along those same lines, he is also the second-winningest head coach in NHL history with 890 wins. Despite being dismissed by Chicago, Quenneville is still under contract ($6 million) this season and next year.
With that being known, it might be tough for him to land another gig in the near future as TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported earlier this month.
“We know that he makes $6 million a year this year and next and there is an offset provision in the NHL rules where when a coach gets hired by another team, they have to figure out the difference with his former team,” said LeBrun.
“This is pretty important when it comes to this situation. The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t going to pay the majority of his salary for him to go find a job somewhere else. It has to be the right fit. But also, it has to be a team that can afford to pay a big part of that salary that remains on that contract.”
Nevertheless, despite this obstacle, Scott Powers of The Athletic reported that the 60-year-old Quenneville definitely plans on coaching again but will sit back and wait for an opportunity.
Could his next opportunity come in Philadelphia? We shall see but for the time being Hakstol has to get this team back on track, while the front office looks for a new general manager.