Quenneville: Changes are inevitable
Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Tuesday described winning the Stanley Cup as the "greatest feeling ever," but he also recognized that the team photo for the NHL champs is going to change next season.
"We've talked about it already," Quenneville said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "Obviously, the picture isn't going to be the way it exactly ended."
The Blackhawks have seven restricted agents, including Antti Niemi, Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager and Niklas Hjalmarsson. Their unrestricted free agents are John Madden, Adam Burish, Nick Boynton and Kim Johnsson.
Cristobal Huet, whom Niemi beat out as No. 1 goaltender, also presents a challenge because of his $5.6 million contract. One option would be sending Huet to the minors so his contract wouldn't count against the salary cap.
"We know things change in our business, and [moving players is] part of it, especially when you have a salary cap era," Quenneville said. "I know the next little while things could be interesting, but at the same time, it's business decisions.
"You try to make them look like they're hockey decisions, but they're going to be some tough decisions to make."
In the meantime, Quenneville is enjoying the ride of celebrating Chicago's first Cup title in 49 years.
"I think winning the Cup as an assistant or head coach, winning the Conn Smythe or playing minimum minutes, I think you can't feel any better," he said. "It's the greatest feeling ever, and once you do it once, you can't wait to do it again."
Quenneville enjoyed taking the Cup to the Chicago Cubs-Chicago White Sox game at Wrigley Field on Sunday and having the Blackhawks, Cubs and White Sox pose for a picture on the pitcher's mound. Quenneville presented the Cup to Cubs manager Lou Piniella and Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
"That was cool," Quenneville said. "I thought that was great. They were both excited about touching the Cup and holding it.
"I thought the picture on the mound with the three teams was the coolest."