Joel Quenneville is a legendary coach. Q is a first ballot Hall of Famer without a single ounce of hesitation. There's nothing that will ever change that.
With that being said...what we saw last night is that the Sonk Father shows no mercy. Doesn't matter if you've got the 2nd most wins as a head coach in league history. Doesn't matter if you have 3 Cups to your name. Doesn't even matter if you're employed by the same organization. As long as you've got a pulse, you are always at risk of getting an STD. Sonk'd To Death.
The news originally went out on Friday that Yandle was likely going to take a health bomb in Florida's season opener. That news had been building up for a few days at that point so it wasn't exactly shocking, but the hockey world was still disgusted at the potential of that iron man streak getting snapped due to a coaching decision. Nobody was more disgusted than die hard Panthers fan Rick Pitino.
There was plenty of outside noise around the decision to scratch Yandle, but Pitino coming from the clouds on Friday night really put the pressure on Q. From one legendary coach to another, I think Rick Pitino was able to smack some sense into Joel. So when the Panthers opened up their season yesterday….
The streak lives on and Keith Yandle suited up for his 867th consecutive game in the National Hockey League. And then just to drive home the point that the Panthers' management had no idea what they were about to do, Keith Yandle lit the lamp and is now on pace to score 56 goals this season.
Now the only thing I'm starting to think here is that maybe this was all just another elaborate prank from Foley. Maybe he was calling all these reporters pretending to be Bill Zito and telling them that Keith had "fallen out of favor" with their plans for the season. When in reality, Keith Yandle's spot on the roster was never in jeopardy at all. At this point you can't rule that out. But yeah, if the Florida Panthers' plan for the future involves scoring goals and winning hockey games? Then we never have to hear another report about a potential scratching again.
Sidenote: I still think a trade with Philly makes sense, as long as Florida eats most of that salary. You can send Ghost back home to Florida in return, and have Yandle partner up with his best buddy The Best One. Florida gets younger, Philly's locker room gets even more ridiculous. Everybody wins.