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Joel Quenneville Reinstated by NHL After Forced Resignation



Sasha Barkov, center, joins Florida Panthers’ GM Dale Tallon and new coach Joel Quenneville on April 8, 2019. / @Georgeichards

FORT LAUDERDALE — Joel Quenneville, who has been out of the league since being forced to resign as coach of the Florida Panthers in 2021, has been reinstated by the NHL.

Quenneville, as well as former Chicago GM Stan Bowman and assistant GM Al MacIssac, will be allowed to be hired by an NHL team starting on July 11.

The three were suspended for what the NHL called an “inadequate response upon being informed in 2010 of allegations that Chicago Blackhawks player Kyle Beach had been assaulted by the team’s video coach” Brad Aldrich during the 2010 playoffs.

In the summer of 2021, Quenneville said he had no knowledge of the assault except “through the media.’’

The Jenner & Block Report disputed that.

The Panthers were 6-0 when Beach granted 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. 

Quenneville coached that game, a 4-1 win, but after meeting with the Panthers management, he did not speak to the media following the game.

Instead, general manager Bill Zito did.

The following day, Quenneville went to New York along with team president Matt Caldwell and Zito to meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was also part of the meeting — one in which Quenneville resigned.

Quenneville, the second winningest coach in NHL history who led the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup three times, has not coached since.

He was hired by the Panthers in 2019 and coached the team for parts of three seasons — two of which were abbreviated because of Covid.

Florida replaced him on an interim basis by current Nashville coach Andrew Brunette in 2021, hiring Paul Maurice at the end of that season.

“While it is clear that, at the time, their responses were unacceptable,” the NHL wrote in a statement, “each of these three individuals has acknowledged that and used his time away from the game to engage in activities which, not only demonstrate sincere remorse for what happened, but also evidence greater awareness of the responsibilities that all NHL personnel have, particularly personnel who are in positions of leadership.

“Moreover, each has made significant strides in personal improvement by participating in myriad programs, many of which focused on the imperative of responding in effective and meaningful ways to address alleged acts of abuse.”

News of the three being reinstated by the NHL came during Zito’s press conference with the media on the first day of NHL free agency.

He said he had not previously heard the news before being asked about it.

“The whole situation is delicate,’’ Zito said. “You always want a good result for everybody, and I suspect that’s the case.”

More FHN Coverage of the Stanley Cup Champion Panthers:

  • NHL Free Agency: Started Monday
  • Florida Panthers Development Camp, Fort Lauderdale: Starts July 8
  • Florida Panthers Training Camp, Fort Lauderdale: Mid-September
  • Florida Panthers Preseason: Sept. 22-Oct. 5
  • Florida Panthers Opening Night/Banner Unveiling: Oct. 8 v. Boston Bruins

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Obviously what happened to Kyle was horrendous and the response of the club after finding out was damm near as bad as the despicable offense itself. With that being said, I always felt like the Cats were collateral damage in this whole disgusting saga. Somehow we were drug i to this, as now it’s firever mentioned that he was our coach qhen it came out.

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