Gary Bettman on the future of Joel Quenneville in the NHL.

Gary Bettman on the future of Joel Quenneville in the NHL.

Gary Bettman responds to questions about former Chicago Blackhawks Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman.

Jonathan Larivee

For many months now I have heard the name of former National Hockey League head coach Joel Quenneville bandied about and linked to one team or another, but despite the rumors there does not appear to be any clearer indication of whether or not Quenneville will ever be able to coach in the NHL again.

Over the weekend NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was asked for clarification regarding the status of the disgraced former head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, with Bettman indicating for perhaps the first time that a decision is looming. Bettman confirmed to the media that there had been communication between himself and both Quenneville as well as former Chicago Blackhawks Stan Bowman who has also been barred from the league.

"They currently are not eligible," confirmed Bettman. "They have both reached out seeking an opportunity to come back and that is something that I have to consider."

While some may believe that Bettman's decision to reinstate both Quenneville and Bowman comes down to only a matter of time, things might not be so simple. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman recently made comments that indicate both Bettman and the NHL are taking this situation extremely seriously.

"There's been some reporting that there's been communication between the league office and Kyle Beach about how he may feel about their return," revealed Friedman on the 32 Thoughts podcast.

What those conversations looked like may remain a mystery forever given the sensitive nature of this topic, something that Friedman's sources all but confirmed.

"Someone did confirm to me there has been a conversation, at least one, between Beach and the NHL," revealed Friedman. "Although they stressed to me that nobody was going to violate what was said... nobody would indicate in any way, shape or form of what was detailed in that conversation."

Both Quenneville and Bowman's futures could very well rest in the hands of Kyle Beach, and no one but Kyle Beach knows how he feels about the entire situation.