CHICAGO (CBS) — Mired in their worst start to a season in franchise history, the Chicago Blackhawks have fired head coach Jeremy Colliton, along with assistant coaches Tomas Mitell and Sheldon Brookbank.
The move comes three years to the day since Colliton replaced former head coach Joel Quenneville.READ MORE: Cook County Surpasses 1,000 Homicides For First Time Since 1994
Rockford IceHogs head coach Derek King will now serve as interim head coach of the Blackhawks, while Rockford assistant Anders Sorensen will take over as interim head coach of the IceHogs.
According to a statement from the team, Blackhawks assistant coaches Marc Crawford, Jimmy Waite, Matt Meacham, and Dylan Crawford will remain in their current positions.
“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. As we look to move forward, we know we must earn back the trust of our fans, and we are grateful for the support of our entire community as we work to do just that,” Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz said in a statement. “On the ice, Interim General Manager Kyle Davidson has our full confidence and autonomy to make hockey decisions, and we support him on this coaching change. We appreciate all that Jeremy has brought to the Blackhawks, and we look forward to working with Derek as our interim head coach while we work to rebuild our permanent hockey operations leadership.”READ MORE: Three Killed, Six Injured In School Shooting In Oxford, Michigan
The overhaul of the coaching staff comes as the Blackhawks are off to a 1-9-2 start, with their first win coming in the 10th game of the season, the worst start to the season in the team’s history. During that span, they set an NHL record the longest stretch to start a season without holding the lead, at 360 minutes and 57 seconds.
“Our on-ice goal remains the same: to build an elite system of hockey – and we have not delivered on that. 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,” Davidson said in a statement. “We appreciate Derek’s willingness to step in behind the bench as we embark on our search for our next permanent head coach. His NHL experience as a player and work with our younger players in Rockford over the last four years gives us great confidence in his ability to lead the Chicago Blackhawks in this interim role.”
The coaching changes also come just weeks after former player Kyle Beach identified himself as the “John Doe” player suing the team over its handling of his to allegations that former video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him during the team’s 2010 Stanley Cup championship run.MORE NEWS: Supply Chain Issues: How Are Global Shortages Affecting Local Customers?
General manager Stan Bowman resigned on Oct. 26, after an independent investigator’s report confirmed that, even though Beach told a skills coach Paul Vincent that Aldrich had assaulted him during the 2010 playoffs, there was never an investigation by management until Beach sued the team for negligence last year.