The Chicago Blackhawks fired Joel Quenneville, the longest-tenured coach currently in the NHL, in a surprising announcement on Tuesday morning. The team is replacing Quenneville with Jeremy Colliton, a 33-year-old who was the head coach of the organization’s AHL affiliate in 2016-17.
The Chicago Blackhawks have relieved Joel Quenneville of his coaching duties and have named Jeremy Colliton the 38th head coach in franchise history.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 6, 2018
Quenneville’s time with the Blackhawks ends in his 11th season with the team. Over that time, he amassed an incredible number of accomplishments and achievements. His 452-249-96 record made him the coach with the second-most wins in Blackhawks history. Quenneville was behind the bench as the team rattled off three Stanley Cup victories over six years, placing them in the conversation as one of the true modern NHL dynasties.
Unfortunately, the fun eventually came to an end. The Blackhawks lost in the first round of the playoffs in 2015-16 and 2016-17, and failed to qualify for the postseason last year. With things off to a relatively slow start in 2018-19, the Blackhawks decided to shake things up by bringing in a much younger face.
In fact, the team’s new coach is the same age as Brent Seabrook.
Colliton, BTW, is the same age as CHI D Brent Seabrook. They played together on Team 🇨🇦, once at U-18 and twice at the WJC. https://t.co/xTX7Ilivtj
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 6, 2018
So, what’s next for Quenneville? At 60, Quenneville has the second-most wins in NHL history and should be an attractive option for a number of teams looking for a new coach. The criticism surrounding his final stretch in Chicago may be unfounded, as some believe the hockey operations team is to blame.
The firing of #Quenneville is nothing more than John McDonough, Stan Bowman & Al MacIsaac’s (Hockey Operations) desperate attempt to save their jobs.
There has always been tension between Joel & the above men mentioned.
Barry Smith is best friends with Scotty Bowman #Blackhawks
— Daniel Carcillo (@CarBombBoom13) November 6, 2018
Were Quenneville’s messages growing stale, or was he given a roster that had too many holes to patch? That debate likely won’t matter as the league is loaded with potential coaching openings.
The LA Kings are a possible destination, but Coach Q could find his way back to St. Louis should the Blues decide to release Mike Yeo. He should have no shortage of options considering the wave of coaching turmoil currently in the NHL.