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Avalanche and Quenneville agree to part ways

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TSN.ca Staff
5/9/2008 7:26:39 PM
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The Colorado Avalanche are in the market for a new head coach.

The club announced on Friday that Joel Quenneville will not return to coach the Avs for a fourth season.

"After meeting with Joel, we mutually agreed that the best decision for both parties involved is to go separate ways," said Avalanche executive vice president and general manager Francois Giguere. "On behalf of the organization, I want to thank Joel for his years of service and wish him the best in his coaching career."

Quenneville does not have any hard feelings for the Avalanche organization, "whatever happens going forward, my memories are all going to be positive here," he said to the Canadian Press.

"I was fortunate to be around very competitive teams (in Colorado)," he explained. "At the end of the day, it was a good three years. It was a positive ending for us."

Colorado finished in sixth place in the Western Conference this season and defeated the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs before being swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round.

"We believed we had a real good chance and things changed quickly in that Detroit series," Quenneville explained to the Canadian Press. "The ending leaves a sour taste, but at the same time there's a lot of good things we should be proud of."

''Joel Quenneville has an outstanding reputation in this business,'' Giguere said. ''When I was hired as a GM, I was a big believer in Joel. I still am a big believer in Joel. Sometimes, for whatever reasons, you need to go in separate ways. It doesn't mean you're not a good coach.''

Quenneville was an assistant with the Avalanche during their Stanley Cup run in 1996, then was hired away by St. Louis. He spent eight seasons with the Blues, becoming the team's winningest coach with 307 victories. In 2004, Quenneville became the fourth coach in Avalanche history.

Quenneville, who was in the last year of a contract had a 131-92-23 record in his three seasons in Denver. When asked about his future plans, Quenneville made it clear what he would like to do. "Let's put it this way, I want to coach and I think it's a privilege to coach in this league," he told the Canadian Press. "I would like to return to coaching in the league."

Before coaching, Quenneville was an NHL defenceman for 13 seasons, including a stint with the Colorado Rockies. He also played for Washington, New Jersey, Toronto and the Hartford Whalers.

Joel Quenneville (Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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