It finally happened. The move New Jersey Devils fans have been clamoring for finally happened. The team announced on Friday that Steve Santini would get time in Binghamton, while John Quenneville will get his shot with the main club.
We will get to Santini later, but let’s focus on Quenneville right now.
Kid Q has been playing down as the B-Devils have struggled this season. Quenneville only has 10 goals and 11 assists, but that may be a product of the AHL team he’s on. After a decent start to the season, Binghamton has fallen to last place.
We know Quenneville has the skill. He was awesome in the preseason, especially with the man advantage. On the power play, he scored two goals and one assist in just five games. That’s as many powerplay goals as he has in 31 games this season.
Quenneville needs to make the most of his time in the NHL. There are a lot of Devils prospects knocking on the door. Mike McLeod will likely make the main roster next year. Jesper Boqvist is another player many believe can make the Devils next season. Fabian Zetterlund has looked very good at times this season with the Swedish National Team. Joey Anderson has been amazing at times, and could make the jump if he decides to leave college.
That leaves a major logjam for the Devils, as Quenneville fights to prove himself on this roster. If he can make an impact immediately, he could force the Devils hand. They would have to find a spot for him. Or, this could be a tryout for another team. He’s been put into the “trade machine” for the Devils to get someone like Mike Hoffman or other rumored players that could be available at the trade deadline.
Head coach John Hynes hasn’t revealed how he plans to use Quenneville, but I doubt he brought him up just to put him in the luxury box. Another move that proves he could see ice time right away is Jimmy Hayes was sent to Binghamton for a conditioning assignment.
This shows that Quenneville will finally get his shot. It took four months, but if Q can find his game then it will all be worth it. He can provide an even bigger spark for the stretch run.
This could all be for naught if this is a short stint. This could last until Hayes gets his legs back under him, which shouldn’t take more than two games. If that’s true, Quenneville needs to make an impact immediately. Those two games could be the make-or-break point for the rest of his career.