CHICAGO (CBS)–The same day the Chicago Blackhawks fired Joel Quenneville, just 15 games into the 2018-19 season, a new head coach was hired as his replacement.
Rockford IceHogs head coach Jeremy Colliton, 33, was named the new coach of the Blackhawks on Tuesday. He is the youngest coach in the NHL.
After leading the team to three Stanley Cup victories, Quenneville’s firing marks the end of an era for the Hawks. The news of his firing shocked and saddened the Hawks community.
Known lovingly to many as “Coach Q,” he led the Hawks to the best 10-year stretch in franchise history.
Ultimately, a sweep by Nashville in the playoffs sealed Quennevilles fate, contrary to reports Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said he and Joel did not have a strained relationship.
Players today had nothing but the highest praise for Quenneville.
Quenneville was hired as head coach early in the 2008-09 season, and the team won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015 with him at the helm. He was 452-249-96 during the regular season, and Chicago made the playoffs in nine of his 10 full seasons on the bench.
However, the team had not made it past the first round of the playoffs since their last title in 2015, and missed the playoffs last year for the first time in a decade. With the five consecutive losses, the team has fallen to 6th place in the Central Division.
In addition to firing Quenneville, the Blackhawks also parted ways with assistant coaches Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson. The team’s other assistant coaches will remain on staff, and director of player evaluation Barry Smith has been named as an assistant on Colliton’s staff.