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Joel Quenneville Meets with NHL GMs, Coaches. Will He Return?

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Joel quenneville panthers florida
Joel Quenneville is on the Florida Panthers’ bench for the final time against the Boston Bruins on Oct. 27, 2021, in Sunrise. Quenneville resigned in a meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman a few days later and was replaced by assistant Andrew Brunette. (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)

Former Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville continues to try and get back into the NHL after resigning in 2021 due to his role in a sexual assault scandal.

On Friday, Quenneville and former Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman spoke at a meeting between NHL coaches and GMs.

Both Quenneville and Bowman resigned under pressure after the Jenner & Block Report came out saying a proper investigation was not conducted by the Blackhawks when the team learned of a 2010 sexual assault of then-Blackhawks player Kyle Beach by video coach Brad Aldrich.

Quenneville had said he had no knowledge of the assault except “through the media” but that report disputed that.

Beach gave an interview to TSN which aired just prior to the Panthers playing host to the Bruins on Oct. 27, 2021. In that interview, Beach identified himself as the player who was assaulted and said that there was “no way” Quenneville “can deny knowing” about the incident. 

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Quenneville coached the team that night but did not speak to the media following the game.

The following day, Quenneville went to New York along with team president Matt Caldwell and general manager Bill Zito to meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was also part of the meeting.

The NHL has not said what was said in that meeting, but Quenneville tendered his resignation following it.

Florida signed Quenneville to a six-year deal in 2019 that was thought to pay close to $6 million per season.

A three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Blackhawks as well as an assistant on the 1996 Colorado team, Quenneville was eight games into his third season with the Panthers when he resigned and replaced by assistant coach Andrew Brunette.

Although neither Quenneville nor Bowman are officially suspended by the NHL, they still have to get Bettman’s permission to be considered for any work within the league.

Neither Quenneville nor Bowman spoke to the media afterward.

“They were here voluntarily,” Bettman said according to Sportsnet. “It wasn’t something that they were told they needed to do. We said, ‘If you’d like the opportunity to address the group, you could have it.’”

Bettman, according to Sportsnet, did not comment on what Bowman and Quenneville said.

“I still have to make a judgment as to when or whether it’s appropriate for them to be reinstated,” Bettman said, “so that’s not a question I’m prepared to answer right now.”

Said Arizona GM Bill Armstrong: “That was about leadership and responsibility and about, if something does come up, how to handle things thoroughly.You have to address it, investigate it, and it’s your responsibility as a leader to go above and beyond to make sure it’s dealt with. And that the league’s perspective, too.”

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