Now that GM Stan Bowman has basically wrapped up fre agency it is time to look at extensions. While a few players like Corey Crawford and Niklas Hjalmarsson have contracts expiring next summer there is someone who ranks ahead of them on Bowman's to-do list.
Coach Joel Quenneville's contract will also be up at the end of the 2013-14 season. Quenneville had signed a three year extension after winning Lord Stanley's Cup in 2010.
During his five year tenure on the bench for the Blackhawks, Coach Q has a regular season record of 222-106-44. The Hawks have not missed the playoffs during those five years, have hoisted the cup twice and lost in the West Conference Finals once. In the postseason he has gone 46-29.
While his switching up of line combos and defensive pairing at times drives fans nuts and opens himself up media second guessing it is hard to argue with the results. Each year he has had to overcome big roster changes or questions with certain key players. Also let's not forget the juggling of goaltenders.
Quenneville will turn 55 this September and lives in suburban Hinsdale so it appears he doesn't want to go anywhere else. Amazing what hoisting the cup can do for a career. Just last summer some were thinking it was time for Coach Q to go and now we are talking about another extension.
I would suspect him to sign another 2-3 year extension that that would keep him with the Hawks until the current probably starts to get broken up. The contracts of Patrick Kane and captain Jonathan Toews expire in two seasons and that is when we may see the break up of those six core players (Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Brent Seabrook). If the Hawks keep Toews & Kane it could mean the end for Sharp or Seabrook.
Just like the last extension I expect it to fly under the radar and be announced shortly before training camp as the Hawks start getting the hype machine going for the upcoming season.
We are about two months until the puck drops on training camp so there is plenty of time for both sides to agree on terms. Until then we will just have to follow the journey of the Cup as it goes from person to person.
So far Nick Leddy, Ray Emery, Dan Carcillo and Ben Smith have had their day.