Blackhawks assistant coach Barry Smith will leave his role behind the bench and return to the front office as Director of Player Evaluation after the NHL All-Star break, reports Chris Kuc of The Athletic.
Barry Smith, expected to go back to his front-office role after the All-Star break, addressed the team at center ice and is shaking hands with all the players.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 21, 2019
Smith has been an assistant coach for more than 30 years and won five Stanley Cups: two with Pittsburgh in the 1990s and three more with Detroit between 1997 and 2002. Scotty Bowman, the Blackhawks senior advisor for hockey operations and father of general manager Stan Bowman, was the head coach for those Detroit teams.
Smith was the source of one of the more well-known incidents between Quenneville and the younger Bowman in 2012. Smith reportedly started appearing at practices, focusing on work with the power play, which led to a furious Quenneville confronting Stan Bowman because the head coach was never informed or approved of the addition to his practices.
The Blackhawks bringing Smith back into the coaching ranks looked murky, but it looks like Colliton will now be able to build his own staff.
The Blackhawks promoted assistant coach Shelton Brookbank from the AHL on Jan. 4. Brookbank, who won the Stanley Cup in 2013 with the Blackhawks as a player, worked with defensemen and the penalty kill with the Rockford IceHogs since being hired in June 2017.
Don Granato is the lone assistant that was retained from the previous regime.