Jeremy Colliton’s 3-year tenure as Blackhawks coach ended Saturday. | AP Photos
Three years to the day after Joel Quenneville’s firing, Jeremy Colliton is out as Hawks coach.
Jeremy Colliton is out as Blackhawks coach.
Three years to the day after Joel Quenneville’s abrupt 2018 firing, his hand-picked replacement was dismissed by the Hawks on Saturday after an inept 1-9-2 start to the season.
Derek King, formerly the Rockford IceHogs’ coach, will take over as interim coach in Colliton’s stead. King, who made 830 NHL appearances as a player, is accustomed to replacing Colliton: he did so three years ago in Rockford when Colliton replaced Quenneville.
Saturday’s overhaul not only answers a crucial question about interim general manager Kyle Davidson’s power — he has evidently been given plenty of it — but also continues the franchise’s drastic transition into a new era.
“Our on-ice goal remains the same: to build an elite system of hockey — and we have not delivered on that,” Davidson said in a statement. “The fact is our play and competitiveness must improve. Every game, every shift.
“Today’s coaching changes are difficult, especially given the incredible personal connections Jeremy and others have made with our players in their development. We appreciate Jeremy’s contributions to the organization over the last three seasons, and we wish him and his family the best.”
Hawks assistants Sheldon Brookbank and Tomas Mitell were also fired Saturday, while assistant Marc Crawford, goalie coach Jimmy Waite and others will remain on staff. Anders Sorensen takes over as Rockford’s interim coach.
“It has been an extremely difficult couple of weeks for our organization, and we have had to come to terms with a number of necessary changes,” CEO Danny Wirtz said in a statement. “Kyle Davidson has our full confidence and autonomy to make hockey decisions, and we support him on this coaching change.”
This story will be updated.