NHL Blackhawks Coach Gains Citizenship After 30 Years in US

Joel Quenneville, the coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, became a US citizen in a Chicago naturalization ceremony featuring 99 immigrants from 60 different home countries, according to published reports.

The Canadian-born hockey coach has been leading the Blackhawks since 2008. After working in the US for more than 30 years and raising three children in the states, Quenneville reportedly only recently decided the time was right to apply for US citizenship.

Quenneville told the Chicago Tribune that his son and two daughters were particularly excited for him to become an official citizen.

“My kids were grilling me. It was good for them to rehash American history. I had them down pat,” he told the newspaper, describing how his children quizzed him on American government and history before his citizenship test.

Although Quenneville told ESPN he had a back-up plan in case he had to miss his naturalization test in the event the Blackhawks made it deep into the Stanley Cup playoff games, he said their early loss allowed him to complete his citizenship process on schedule. Quenneville took his oath of citizenship on May 24.

Quenneville played for teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils and Colorado Rockies in his long career. He won the Stanley Cup as assistant coach of the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 before becoming head coach of the Blackhawks.