Gary Bettman’s unexpected answer to Joel Quenneville’s desire to return to the NHL:
Zuma Press  

Gary Bettman’s unexpected answer to Joel Quenneville’s desire to return to the NHL:

Details here.



On Tuesday, chatter emerge that one NHL team had kicked the tires on hiring Joel Quenneville. But the road will have to be different for Quenneville when it comes to a return in the league. He resigned earlier in 2021-22 as head coach of the Florida Panthers in wake of the Chicago Blackhawks’ sexual abuse case. He was the head coach of the Hawks when the sexual abuse of prospect Kyle Beach by then-video coach Brad Aldrich took place in 2010. It has also been reported that Quenneville sat in on the management meeting held to discuss the initial reports, which resulted in little to no response or actions by the Blackhawks.

During the press conference ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear after Quenneville’s departure that he would need to meet with league executives to see if he deserved to return.

On Friday, he admitted that he isn’t sure if he’ll be open to reinstating Joel Quenneville if the former head coach asks to return to the NHL.

“I don’t know. That’s something I’ll have to address with him directly,” Bettman told ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap on Friday’s episode of The Point.

Bettman explained how Quenneville has expressed a general desire to return to the NHL, though not for a specific job opening.

“He has indicated that he would, at the appropriate time, like to be part of the game again. I don’t think this is the time. But we’ll see what happens in the future,” said Bettman.

The commissioner is still struggling with the lack of actions from Quenneville when it came to Beach and the sexual abuse he endured. This is surprising from Bettman, who rarely talks about the case in Chicago.

“A head coach, any coach, has a responsibility to the people who are entrusted to that person. What he needs to do, or hasn’t done, I think at this stage it’s between him and me,” Bettman told Schaap.

This might be an indication that Quenneville would not be reinstated if he asks the NHL. However, it might be Bettman’s way to test the waters after his comments on how fans would react if Quenneville did return.

Source: ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap