The Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cups in six seasons, but spring hasn’t always been pretty. Before yet another legendary playoff run, early 2015 found the Hawks struggling to stay .500 on the calendar year. With things going the same this time around, coach Joel Quenneville isn’t hoping for some magic “on button” come the playoffs. He’s calling Joe Maddon.
“I called up Joe, looking for maybe a bit of advice,” said Quenneville on Tuesday. “Wouldn’t you know it, he said he was hosting a family of magicians for dinner and we had a little conference call. It was enlightening.”
The two coaches must have hit it off because shortly thereafter Quenneville hired Maddon to the newly created position of Good Vibes Coordinator. Even though Maddon is in Arizona fulfilling his duties as the Cubs skipper, he’s relaying instructions to the Blackhawks coaching staff.
“I received an email the other morning and wasn’t sure what to make of it,” said Hawks assistant coach Mike Kitchen. “It read, ‘First: purchase a bear costume.’ I was skeptical, but glad I did when I showed up to work and our staff looked like a Barney and Friends reunion. It was…fun.”
The Hawks are 3-5-2 in March with a tough schedule ahead. Time will tell whether costumes, mimes and petting zoos get them back on their game.
When reached for comment, the busy Maddon simply said, “Hey, I respect the blue line just as much as I respect 90. I’m just not sure what offsides is.”
“I’m fairly certain we’ll find a spark,” said Quenneville. “Also I want to pet a baby goat.”