Teravainen and TvR talk playing for Quenneville

Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville talks with the team during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

by Scott King

The initial shock of former Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville’s firing on Tuesday reached far beyond Chicago.

Former Hawks and current Carolina Hurricanes players Teuvo Teravainen and Trevo van Riemsdyk, both 2015 Stanley Cup champs with Chicago, were also surprised by the news and will face their former team Thursday night in Chicago.

“I saw the news,” Teravainen said. “It’s kind of a little surprising. He’s a great coach and I had a good time with him in Chicago, a real good time with him. I guess they needed a change, hopefully it’ll work out for them.”

The Blackhawks traded Teravainen and Bryan Bickell away to the Hurricanes for a second-round pick (50th overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Teuvo appreciated the way Q’ did things.

“I liked it a lot,” Teravainen said of his coaching style. “He’s a pretty honest guy and he knows the game well. He has a lot of experience. I liked playing under him, so it was good for me.”

Unlike some players, Teuvo knew Q’s disciplining was always for the best.

“I feel like I’m the kind of guy you sometimes you have to be tough [with]. I earned [that], I think that makes me better too, so I needed all [that]. He was honest when I needed to get benched or something. I feel like I always got better after that so it made me better I think.”

Like a lot who played under him, Quenneville had a profound impact on van Riemsdyk’s development as a young defenseman.

“He’s had so much success here and obviously he gave me my chance my first year [here]. He was always so awesome to me. Whenever you got to talk to him whether it was about the game or about anything else it was always a great thing.

“He instilled that confidence in me and the rest of the guys. He was a guy you really liked playing for, so to see him go is obviously a sad day.”

Trevor was selected in the Vegas Golden Knight’s expansion draft in June of 2017 before being traded to Carolina.

“It was great,” goalie Scott Darling said of his time with Quenneville. “I have the upmost respect for Joel and can’t say enough about him and the opportunity he gave me.

“When I came to the Hawks, I wasn’t supposed to be an NHL goalie, he saw something in me and gave me that chance and I can thank him for where I am today.”

Darling was traded to Carolina in April of 2017 from Chicago.

Reaching out

Following Thursday’s morning skate, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said he spoke with Q’ recently.

“Talked to Joel a few days ago,” Toews said. “I think it was a shock for him and for everybody. The two of us had nothing but good things to say, and we’re obviously very thankful for what we’ve been able to do together on the ice.

“It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get back to the ultimate goal again together, but we all know to have gone through what we’ve gone through, we’re all pretty lucky we’ve been able to experience that.”

New head coach Jeremy Colliton texted with Quenneville the day Q’ was fired and Colliton took his job.

“It was him who reached out to me: congratulations and wishing me luck,” Colliton said. “We exchanged text messages. Great man, and I really appreciated my time with him.”

The gesture was well-received by the new coach left with big shoes to fill.

“It means a lot,” Colliton said. “He’s a hall of fame coach and now I’m succeeding him. He took the time to send me a text message. Again, he’s a great man.”

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