The Blackhawks stunned the hockey world by firing Joel Quenneville — the most successful active coach in the NHL — on Tuesday morning. Chicago promoted its AHL head coach Jeremy Colliton to the Blackhawks head coaching positioning.
Chicago also parted ways with assistants Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson to the delight of many.
The firings come amid a five-game losing streak for the Blackhawks and a 6-6-3 start to the season.
The 60-year-old Quenneville joined the Blackhawks organization as a pro scout in September 2008 and in October of that year was promoted to head coach to replace Denis Savard. Quenneville guided the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Quenneville is the second-winngest head coach in franchise history, with a 452-249-96 record.
Colliton becomes the youngest head coach in the NHL at age 33. He led the Rockford IceHogs to a 40-28-4-4 record and a berth in the Western Conference Final for the first time in franchise history.
Here’s how people reacted to the news with many saying general manager Stan Bowman should’ve been axed...
Clearly, the Blackhawks have been just looking for a reason to fire Joel Quenneville. What, if Duncan Keith doesn't get ejected Saturday night and Corey Crawford staves off the Flames barrage, he's still employed today? What madness this is.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) November 6, 2018
I’m pissed.— (@brandonmcain) November 6, 2018
Boy, I'm glad I voted early.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) November 6, 2018
Was not expecting to wake up to that news. Holy shit.— Dave Melton (@_DaveMelton) November 6, 2018
The Blackhawks also made Barry Smith one of the new assistant coaches. I believe he's been a longtime associate of the Bowmans. Makes this move feel ... unclean.— Dave Melton (@_DaveMelton) November 6, 2018
Just guessing that Jeremy Colliton wasn’t like, “Oh, and get me Barry Smith on my staff...”#Blackhawks— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) November 6, 2018
Joel Quenneville: Best #NHL coach of his generation? I don't think it's close. Three Stanley Cups, second all-time in wins to Scotty Bowman, career .610 points percentage, legendary 'stache.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) November 6, 2018
The Blackhawks’ decline in recent seasons wasn’t on Joel Quenneville.— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) November 6, 2018
Joel Quenneville deserved better.— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) November 6, 2018
Joel Quenneville won more than twice as many games as he lost..and won 3 Stanley Cups. Every other coach in Blackhawks history? 3 Stanley Cups combined— trey wingo (@wingoz) November 6, 2018
Unfortunately, GMs in the NHL don't get fired even when they should. Joel shouldn't have been a casualty of this.— Nick Rogers (@NickRogers_18) November 6, 2018
Bowman killed the Blackhawks. https://t.co/GMtmCuNxMM
Stan Bowman put together an aging team, with shit supporting players, acted shocked when they didn't win and then fired the best head coach in the league. Fuck Stan— Carolyn (@windycityintern) November 6, 2018
Not Qs fault. Bowman ran this team into ground.— bped (@brianpeds) November 6, 2018
Phase 1 of the overhaul. The inevitable fall into irrelevance that Stan started the day the ridiculous Seabs (6.8 for 8) deal was signed has begun. Phase 2 has to be Bowman.— Jay Primrose (@jaywp1) November 6, 2018
Asked my best Hawks source about Colliton: “He likes analytics & is open to all information, good communicator and motivator. His teams play with energy, that will be the biggest, most noticeable difference. Really smart hockey guy, good guy. I think he will be great.”— Jay Zawaski (@JayZawaski670) November 6, 2018
Another source on Colliton: “Much more “modern”. Embraces all information, open minded, newer systems, and he’s already been working with the younger players and is the right guy for where this team is heading...going younger with the system kids coming into the fold.”— Jay Zawaski (@JayZawaski670) November 6, 2018
You don’t fire Joel Quenneville with an extra year on his deal and name the new guy head coach without an interim tag *just because* so you have to believe the Hawks really believe in Jeremy Colliton— Satchel Price (@SatchelPrice) November 6, 2018
“Good man. I imagine those slopes in Denver are going to get worn out. He’s a good friend, good coach, 3 Cups. He’s going to go in the Hockey Hall of Fame ... If he wants to work, he’ll work.”— Mike Zeisberger (@Zeisberger) November 6, 2018
- #leafs coach Babcock on Joel Quenneville. Worked together on Tm Cda at '16 World Cup
Asked Torts about Q ->— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) November 6, 2018
“That’s a terrific coach and a terrific person. To have three rings in your back pocket and coach some players that, you know, there’s some personalities that come along with it, I just think he’s done a terrific job ... “#Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/Qut1rYMFTs
Will Joel Quenneville go down as the last coach in Chicago sports history to have a mustache? End of an era, it seems.— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) November 6, 2018