Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks Fire Coach Joel Quenneville, Announce Additional Coaching Changes

November 06, 2018 - 8:24 am
Categories: 

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Chicago Blackhawks announced Tuesday that they relieved Joel Quenneville of his coaching duties and have named Jeremy Colliton the 38th head coach in franchise history.  In addition, the Blackhawks have named Barry Smith an assistant coach on Colliton’s staff. The Blackhawks have also parted ways with Assistant Coaches Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson.

The rest of the Blackhawks coaching staff will remain with the team.

“The Chicago Blackhawks front office has made a decision to release Joel Quenneville from his head coaching duties, doing so with my full support. As Chicago Blackhawks fans have seen over the last decade, this organization no longer shies away from making tough decisions or ones based on emotion. Those days are long behind us.  Of course, Joel’s was difficult, as it should have been. During his tenure as head coach to the Chicago Blackhawks, Joel brought the city of Chicago and our fans three Stanley Cups and an incredible era of hockey," said Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz, in a statement.

"I wish Joel and his family well and thank him for his incredible leadership and results. Nothing will ever take away the success he brought our franchise, our fans and my family. Joel will forever be etched into the most memorable era in Chicago Blackhawk hockey. And for that, we will always be connected and always eternally grateful.”

Joel Quenneville departs as the second-winningest head coach in Blackhawks history, registering a record of 452-249-96 in 797 games since 2008. He owns the best playoff record in Blackhawks history, compiling a record of 76-52 including three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013 and 2015). His Blackhawks teams made the playoffs in nine of ten seasons and he stood as the longest tenured head coach in the NHL, having been officially hired by Chicago on October 16, 2008. He coached 1,636 career games, first among active NHL coaches and second all-time. Prior to joining the Blackhawks, he served as head coach for the Colorado Avalanche (2005 – 08) and St. Louis Blues (1996 – 2004).

“This was an extremely difficult decision, given our respect for Joel and all that he has brought to the Chicago Blackhawks organization the last 10 years. His leadership during three Stanley Cup championships speaks for itself and there is no way to adequately express what he has meant to this organization. He will always be a significant member of the Blackhawks family. We have a deep appreciation for how he helped establish our standard and the Blackhawks culture and certainly wish he, Kevin and Ulf only the best in their future," said Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough, in a statement.

Jeremy Colliton, 33, becomes the youngest head coach currently in the NHL. He was 12 games into his second season with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League and led the IceHogs to a record of 40-28-4-4 in 2017-18. 

Prior to joining the Blackhawks organization, Colliton spent four seasons as the head coach of Mora IK in Sweden (HockeyAllsvenskan). A native of Blackie, Alberta, Colliton guided his team to a league-best 35-13-4 record and 105 points during the 2016-17 season. Colliton joined the coaching ranks with Mora IK in an interim head coaching role during the 2013-14 season before taking over full-time the following season. In four seasons with Colliton behind the bench, Mora IK posted a 98-57-18 record. 

Prior to becoming a coach, Colliton had an eight-year professional career primarily in the NHL and AHL. He appeared in 57 NHL games across five seasons (2005-09, 2010-11) with the New York Islanders, notching three goals and three assists. He was originally drafted by the Islanders in the second round (58th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft.

"We are extremely fortunate to have Jeremy Colliton in the Blackhawks organization and feel strongly that he is best positioned to continue leading our players here in Chicago. All of those associated with Jeremy strongly believe he possesses many of the tools that will make him a successful head coach in this league. He has been very impressive as a communicator, a leader, and coach. He knows the Blackhawks system, understands our players and our culture and we believe he gives us the best opportunity to have success and grow as a team," said Blackhawks Senior Vice President/General Manager Stan Bowman, in a statement.