Joel Quenneville as Maple Leafs coach

Why Joel Quenneville Should Be Next Maple Leafs Coach

As someone who has tracked the frosty floors of the NHL longer than most millennials have been alive, the prospect of Joel Quenneville coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs isn’t just intriguing—it’s a script straight out of a Hollywood sports drama.

Let’s get right to why—or why not—“Coach Q” could be the missing puzzle piece for the Leafs.

The Case for Quenneville

Coach Quenneville Stanley Cups won

First off, Joel Quenneville isn’t just any coach. The man’s resume is bursting at the seams with accolades. Three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks in 2010, 2013, and 2015—talk about a hat trick that Toronto fans can only dream of!

With a career total of 969 victories, Quenneville stands as the second-winningest coach in NHL history. That’s not just good – that’s legendary.

Noteworthy Achievements

  • Three-time Stanley Cup Champion: 2010, 2013, 2015.
  • Second most wins in NHL history: 969 victories.
  • Blackhawks record (2008-2018): 452-249-96.

And let’s not forget Quenneville kicked off his NHL career as a player with the Maple Leafs. If that doesn’t spell destined reunion, what does?

Postseason Prowess

Another feather in Quenneville’s cap is his .594 postseason winning percentage. While some coaches excel in the regular season only to crumble under playoff pressure, Quenneville has demonstrated time and again that he can steer his team through the stormy waters of the NHL playoffs. Something the Leafs have struggled with historically.

The Not-So-Small Roadblocks

Joel Quenneville NHL coach

Now, onto the elephant in the room—or the rink, in this case. Quenneville’s exit from the Florida Panthers in 2021 wasn’t because he lost his magic touch with the playbook.

It came in the wake of a scandal during his time with the Blackhawks, involving a staff member’s sexual harassment and assault of players.

  • Quenneville resigned after a report exposed mishandling of sexual assault accusations within his staff.
  • Admitted fault in the oversight and has since pursued education on recognizing sexual abuse signs.

The Redemption Arc

For Quenneville to take up the mantle in Toronto, he needs more than a nod from the fans—he needs reinstatement by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.  This isn’t just about whether Quenneville can coach; it’s about whether he should be allowed to.

And if reinstated, the Maple Leafs would need to tackle a PR challenge that could either be seen as a bold move forward or a desperate clinging to past glories.

Why Toronto, Why Now?

Toronto’s management isn’t blind. They know Quenneville’s history, both the dazzling and the dark parts. But here’s why they might roll the dice:

Let’s get serious for a moment. The idea of Quenneville returning not just to coaching, but to the Leafs, his draft team, has an ironic twist that’s hard to ignore. Is it fate or just fanciful thinking? Toronto’s front office might be pondering the same, weighing the potential gains against the public relations headache.

The PR Angle

Imagine the headlines, the debates, the endless sports radio chatter. Hiring Quenneville could either be a masterstroke or a public relations fiasco. Toronto’s PR team would need to gear up for a storm, crafting a story of lessons learned and second chances.

So, to Hire or Not to Hire?

The potential hiring of Joel Quenneville by the Maple Leafs is as much a PR strategy as it is a sports decision.  His track record is marred but mighty, his capabilities clear but complicated by past controversies.

Toronto’s decision will need to balance the icy precision of a well-played hockey strategy with the fiery trials of public opinion. So, should the Maple Leafs bring Quenneville back to where his NHL journey began? It’s a gamble. But then again, since when has hockey ever been about playing it safe?

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