(CBS) According to a Chicago Tribune report, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman expects head coach Joel Quenneville to return to the team next season despite rumors he could leave for the Montreal Canadiens.
Quenneville is close to former Blackhawks assistant GM Marc Bergevin, who left the team last week to take over as GM of the Canadiens. That move, coupled with the rumored power struggle between Quenneville and the front office, sparked discussion in Canada that the Blackhawks head coach could make a move to Montreal.
But asked Monday by the Tribune if he thought Quenneville would be with the Blackhawks next season, Bowman simply said: “Yes.”
According to the report, Quenneville had a late-season confrontation with team management after director of player development Barry Smith (longtime associate to Blackhawks senior adviser Scotty Bowman) was pushed into practices to help the struggling power play. The report says Quenneville ultimately won the power struggle and Smith’s on-ice role ended before the playoffs started.