Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday that, despite speculation, he has no plans to head to the Montreal Canadiens, where friend and former Hawks assistant general manager Marc Bergevin is now the general manager.
"I think over the last few days there was some speculation on other things that were going on about here in Chicago and me being somewhere else, and first and foremost, I'm excited about being here in Chicago," Quenneville said on a conference call. "I love the opportunity, I love the organization, I love where we're heading in the future and that's something I wanted to put to bed right from the outset."
There have been rumors that Bergevin would find a way to get Quenneville to join him in Montreal. Quenneville's contract runs through 2013-14, and while he guided the Hawks to the 2009-10 Stanley Cup title, Chicago has been bounced out of the playoffs in the first round the last two years and there was speculation he wasn't on the same page as Hawks GM Stan Bowman.
"I have two years left on the contract, I'm very happy here, and (leaving is) the last thing I was thinking about," Quenneville said. "I was happy for (Bergevin) that he got the job in Montreal. I think he's going to do a great job there. He's going to give the organization some life, he has some personality. I'm happy for him and wish him all the best, but other than that, that's kind of where I'm at."
Quenneville admitted that there was some dysfunction on his coaching staff and a change was needed, resulting in assistant coach Mike Haviland being fired on Tuesday.
Quenneville wouldn't say who was on his short list to replace Haviland, and wouldn't comment on the possibility that director of player development Barry Smith, who's been rumored to be at odds with Quenneville, is a candidate.
"I haven't put him on my list," Quenneville said. "I don't have a list drawn up right now. I want to keep that process confidential and work through it."