The past two weeks have been very kind to the Chicago Blackhawks in terms of NHL Awards nominations. Brandon Saad is a Calder Trophy nominee, Jonathan Toews is up for the Selke Trophy and Patrick Kane was announced as a Lady Byng Trophy finalist. Now the team can add another name to the nominees list: Joel Quenneville has been nominated for the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year.
Quenneville’s in good company with Paul McLean of the Ottawa Senators and Bruce Boudreau of the Anaheim Ducks. But while McLean’s and Boudreau’s teams have both seen success this season, Quenneville has led the Blackhawks through not just a very successful season, but an historic one.
With Quenneville at the helm, the Blackhawks set a huge league record with points in their first 24 games, and they set a team record with an 11-game win streak. The team ended the season with a 36-7-5 record, a league record 77 points (the most ever recorded in a 48-game season) and the President’s Trophy. Did I mention that the team’s .802 point percentage is the fifth best in league history? I’d say that’s not too shabby for a shortened season.
If Quenneville wins the Adams Trophy, it wouldn’t be his first time. He won it back in 2000 as the coach of the St. Louis Blues after leading them to a 51-19-12 record. He would also be the only other Blackhawks coach to win it, joining Orval Tessier, who led his team to a 47-23-10 record way back in the 1982-83 season.
The Blackhawks have incredible players and are amazing as a team, but they’re only half the team they are without Coach Quenneville. As the driving force behind such a record setting and breaking team, he deserves to be nominated.