Chicago Blackhawks fire Joel Quenneville, hire new coach

Matt Lawson / November 6, 2018

Former Chicago Blackhawks coach, Joel Quenneville
(Dan W. Boter / Flickr)

The hockey world received a big shock this morning when the Chicago Blackhawks announced they would be parting ways with their head coach, Joel Quenneville. Behind the bench of the Blackhawks, Quenneville brought in three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013, 2015) – their first since they had a taste of glory in 1961.

Quenneville’s replacement is 33-year-old Jeremy Colliton who is now the youngest coach in the NHL. Four of the Blackhawks are older than Colliton. He has coached the Blackhawks AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs since May 18, 2017.

Since the start of the 2017 season, 19 NHL head coaches have gotten the axe, showing just how small the margin for error is behind the bench of an NHL team. The Blackhawks missed the playoffs last season for the first time in a decade and started this current season 6-6-3.

“Ultimately, it’s about winning. I have to earn their trust by them believing I can help them win, that I can help them be better individually… After today, I don’t think it will be an issue.” – Jeremy Colliton, Chicago Blackhawks coach

The Blackhawks fired Quenneville and also assistant coaches Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson. Barry Smith has been hired to replace one of the vacant assistant spots and they are currently working to fill the other remaining void.

Colliton has big shoes to fill as Quenneville logged 890 coaching wins in the NHL which is second on the all-time list. Quenneville is not expected to be unemployed for long considering his very impressive coaching resume.

Blackhawks players are blaming themselves for the loss of their beloved coach and are understandably down for the time being. But players say they’re open to being part of a new chapter in the Blackhawks’ history books.

“From what I hear and what I’ve seen so far, he, Jeremy Colliton brings a lot of, I guess, youthful energy to the game and I think he’s got a lot of experience on the ice as well and I think understands how to get through to young guys and get through to each player and get the best out of them. I’ve heard nothing but good things from the guys that played for him in Rockford last year.” – Jonathon Toews, Chicago Blackhawks captain

The Blackhawks next game is Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

(Matt Lawson / BCIT News)