NEW YORK — A year and a half after resigning as head coach of the Panthers in the wake of the Jenner and Block Report, Joel Quenneville is taking a big step toward a return to the NHL.
Per numerous reports, the first from Darren Dreger of TSN, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will meet with the former Blackhawks coach after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup playoffs to review his status in the league.
In October 2021, he resigned as head coach of the Panthers after the release of the report on the Blackhawks’ sexual abuse scandal. This came after a meeting in New York with Bettman, who didn’t formally suspend Quenneville but did say that he would have to meet with him before determining the conditions for a return to the NHL.
Quenneville’s name has come up in a few discussions about openings in the league for the 2023-2024 season.
Previously a head coach with the Blues and Avalanche, Quenneville took the Blackhawks’ head coaching job in October 2008 and led the team to three Stanley Cup titles and nine-straight playoff appearances.
His 969 victories are second-most in NHL history, with 79 coming as head coach of the Panthers from 2019-2021.
But his legacy has taken a hit after the Jenner and Block Report placed him in a meeting on May 23, 2010 with other top-ranking members of the organization. At that time, they were informed about sexual abuse allegations brought against then Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich by then player Kyle Beach.
In that meeting, per the Jenner and Block Report, it was determined not to report it to human resources or take greater action in order to prevent a distraction for the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championship run. It wasn’t reported until June 14, allowing Aldrich to take part in title celebrations, and was a violation of the team’s sexual harassment reporting policy.
You can read the full Jenner and Block Report here.
That contradicted a statement made by Quenneville in July 2021 where he claimed he didn’t know about the allegations until they surfaced in media reports that summer.