CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks announced Friday a three-year extension for coach Joel Quenneville, who has led the team to two Stanley Cups in the past four seasons and was touched by how his players lined up during the news conference.
"That's the best part of it -- looking over here and seeing the guys," Quenneville said as the team launched its annual Blackhawks fan convention. "They're a big part of it. They're a thrill to coach. They make it rewarding. They get you excited about going to the rink. But I'm privileged to coach probably the best group in the league. I know we don't get to see the other teams, but as far as the character, the quality, the experience, the leadership, we have all the intangibles that make a team successful."
Quenneville's contract was set to expire after the 2013-14 season, but now he is signed through 2017.
"There's no one we want more coaching this team than Joel," general manager Stan Bowman said. "He's done a fantastic job over the years. I think the record speaks for itself. Consistent performance year after year, obviously culminating in the ultimate -- winning the Stanley Cup two times. Joel's done a fantastic job. We're really fortunate to have him here, and we're excited for many years to come."
Quenneville signed a three-year extension in 2010 after he led the team to its first Stanley Cup since 1961. He originally was hired by the Blackhawks four games into the 2008-09 season after Denis Savard was fired.
Quenneville has a 222-106-44 regular-season record with the Blackhawks.
"I feel very fortunate to be a part of this organization," Quenneville said. "It's a special place to work and play, and it's a special place to live. We love everything about Chicago, and it's a great sports town. I feel privileged to be a part of something special here. And winning here makes it even more enjoyable. From top to bottom, there's a million reasons why it's such a perfect spot here.
"Looking at our team, I'm excited about our team as well. We look at the core group that was here on the first [Stanley Cup] win, that group is here. They're still young. The upside of this team going forward is still in place. I don't think there's too much difference from where we were exiting the season. We feel going forward we're going to have a strong team and look to get back where we ended the season. That'll be the fun part about it. That's exciting about the challenge of the job as well."