The Chicago Blackhawks’ ECHL affiliate, the Indy Fuel, will have a new head coach next season after they mutually parted ways with Bernie John on Monday.
John joined the Fuel for their 2014-15 inaugural season as an assistant coach after winning the Clark Cup with the USHL’s Indiana Ice the year before. He was promoted to the Fuel’s head coaching job with 13 games remaining in the 2015-16 season. The Fuel made their first Kelly Cup playoff appearance in franchise history in 2018, but were swept in four games by Toledo. Indy missed the postseason by two points this past season.
Fuel Chairman and owner Jim Hallett called the coaching change “best for the organization.”
“Bernie and I had a chance to sit down after the season, and after sharing our individual thoughts we decided that it would be best for the organization to go in a different direction heading into 2019-20,” Hallett said in a release.
There’s no word on whether or not assistant Ryan McGinnis will be retained.
It’s the third head coaching change in the Blackhawks’ organization since November when they fired head coach Joel Quenneville and assistants Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson. Jeremy Colliton was promoted from the AHL and assistant Derek King was named interim head coach for the Rockford IceHogs. Director of Player Evaluation Barry Smith came down from the Blackhawks’ front office to be an assistant before AHL assistant Sheldon Brookbank was brought up in January. Development coach Anders Sorenson was elevated to fill Brookbank’s spot in the AHL.
The Fuel have already started a “extensive search” for their next head coach.