BREAKING: Blackhawks fire Jeremy Colliton

  

The clock has officially ran out on Chicago Blackhawks Head Coach Jeremy Colliton, as the team relieved the young bench boss of his duties on Saturday afternoon. Derek King, who served as the head coach of the Rockford IceHogs, will step behind the Chicago bench on an interim basis effective immediately. Also relieved of their duties in the move include assistant coaches Sheldon Brookbank and Tomas Mitell.

The move comes as Interim General Manager Kyle Davidson’s first significant decision, and Blackhawks ownership shared their support of Davidson’s choice.

“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,” said Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz in a press release. “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.”

Davidson noted his confidence in King, as King’s NHL playing experience, professional hockey coaching experience and familiarity with many of the young players in the organization will help him lead the team during the search for a permanent replacement.

King was hired to take Colliton’s spot as the head coach of the IceHogs on an interim basis on Nov. 6, 2018, and the interim tag was removed on April 25, 2019.

While the trio of Colliton, Brookbank and Mitell head out the door, Dylan Crawford, Marc Crawford, Matt Meacham and Jimmy Waite will remain on the team’s coaching staff. With King’s promotion to Chicago, Rockford Assistant Coach Anders Sorensen will step into the head coaching role with the IceHogs on an interim basis beginning tonight.

Colliton’s tenure with the Blackhawks was nothing short of rocky, posting an 87–92–26 record in just under three years of calendar time. Colliton was brought on as the team’s head coach in the firing of then-bench boss Joel Quenneville. Expected to serve as an innovative new voice for the franchise, Colliton largely failed to earn the trust and respect of his team, and the results clearly showed on the ice. Colliton’s poor showing behind the bench was capped by a miserable 1–9–2 start to this season.

“Our on-ice goal remains the same: To build an elite system of hockey—and we have not delivered on that,” Davidson said in the press release. “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.”

The new-look Blackhawks will have their first chance to prove themselves under their new leader on Sunday, hosting the Nashville Predators for a 6 p.m. CST puck drop.

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    Eric Andrews
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    The clock has officially ran out on Chicago Blackhawks Head Coach Jeremy Colliton, as the team relieved the young bench boss of his duties on Saturday
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