OUT LOUD: Joel Quenneville

We had three or four outdoor rinks on our block. {+1} I was on skates a lot of times all day long. Road hockey, street hockey, in the basement, in the hallway. I always had a hockey stick.

The Chicago Blackhawks were definitely my team growing up. I was always Bobby Hull playing road hockey. Everybody was either the Canadiens—because I went to a French school—the Leafs or Detroit. Maybe because nobody had Chicago, I was Chicago.

In minor hockey or junior hockey I always dreamed like that. {+2} When you get to juniors, you get a clear idea how close it could be.

I just loved the game, had fun with it and I was kind of a different player. I played defense and forward. Sometimes it looked like I was a scorer, and I wasn't a scorer. I was pretty lucky the way things all evolved.

Roger Nielsen was probably the one guy who influenced me the most when I turned pro. He helped my overall game and my approach to the game. I was fortunate to be around Roger, too, when I was a head coach the first time. {+3} He was one of our assistants. He helped me in a lot of ways about the game and around the game.

You look back to the days when we saw the building was full and alive. {+4} It had all the personality in the world, and then you saw what happened in recent years, which wasn't good for Hawks hockey or hockey in general. It's nice to feel it again.

I was very comfortable and very happy doing what I was doing. {+5} I was nice and relaxed. I thought it was going to be healthy just to sit back and absorb some games and take the year off.

That was tough. {+6} It wasn't easy. I feel for Denis, and I know what it's like when it happens. It's a terrible feeling. I'm very respectful for the position and what people have to go through both ways. I try to look at it moving ahead knowing it's a great opportunity and great challenge.

Coaching is the next-best fun in the game because you're actually involved and you're hands-on, you're on the ice and you're with the guys. Winning and losing is fun. Seeing players absorb the information you try to extend and you see them apply it and it works ... with a young team like this, it's a great situation.

I like our team in a lot of ways. I like the way we're together. We have a young team that will stick together, and it's a good bunch of guys.

There's a process. Right now our process is to try to make the playoffs. We should welcome that challenge.

It's about them, it's not about me. {+7}

1-Growing up in Ontario

2-Playing in the NHL (1978-91)

3-With the St. Louis Blues during the 1996-97 season

4-Chicago Stadium

5-Scouting for the Hawks

6-Taking over for the fired Denis Savard on Oct. 16

7-The players