The Chicago Blackhawks announced a three-year contract extension with Joel Quenneville on Tuesday and thus locked up the only active coach with three Stanley Cup titles.
The move started a very nice day for Quenneville and the Blackhawks, who beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Tuesday for their eighth consecutive victory. The longest active win streak in the league moved the 57-year-old coach into a tie with Al Arbour for second on the list of NHL regular-season coaching victories, behind only Scotty Bowman's total of 1,244.
"It's been a special place here in Chicago for us,'' Quenneville said after his 782nd career win. "We've had a lot of success. Great group, right on through from Rocky [owner Rocky Wirtz] on down through the organization. It's been eight great years.
"Al Arbour has been a great coach in our game and player. Everybody always said good things. Everybody has a lot of respect for what he's accomplished. We always had a heck of a time trying to beat him, so it's very special, and [I'm] honored and feel fortunate."
The Blackhawks are currently second in the Central Division, just two points behind the Dallas Stars, and are looking like contenders to add a second straight championship to Quenneville's already impressive résumé.
"We've got a great situation going here,'' general manager Stan Bowman said. "Fortunate to have Joel on board, and he's been a huge part of what we've accomplished as a group. There's no one more you want behind the bench than Joel.''
Quenneville took over in Chicago just four games into the 2008-09 season, when he replaced Denis Savard after the Hall of Famer was cut loose by former general manager Dale Tallon in a controversial move. What followed was the most successful run in franchise history, with Chicago winning it all in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
"Well, [in] your wildest dreams, you wouldn't have expected what happened happened,'' Quenneville said. "But even an optimistic point of view was that there was an exciting, young team that had a bright future. Things developed in a great way right off the bat.''
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was 20 when Quenneville became the coach in Chicago, and star forward Patrick Kane was 19. They developed into two of the NHL's best players under Quenneville's tutelage and are part of a now-veteran core that uniformly praises the former NHL defenseman for his deft touch with players of varying ability and experience levels.
"I think we're getting, it's funny to say, but more and more comfortable with his coaching and his style as the years go by,'' Toews said.
Quenneville has a 782-451-77-110 record over 19 years as an NHL head coach, including the past eight in Chicago. He won the Jack Adams Award in 2000 for the NHL's top coaching job.
The 57-year-old Quenneville and Jacques Lemaire are the only men who have played in at least 800 games in the league and coached 1,000 or more. Quenneville's playing career, spent mostly with the Hartford Whalers, was a huge influence on how he coaches, from cutting back on practice time during busy parts of the schedule to what he expects from his players.
"He doesn't take a night off,'' Toews said. "His intensity is there every night. We know it. You can feel it.''
Quenneville refused to speculate as to whether he will coach beyond this extension. But the Windsor, Ontario, native indicated he thinks Scotty Bowman's record of 1,244 wins is safe.
"I'd say it's a stretch,'' Quenneville said of catching Bowman.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.