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Blackhawks will ‘most likely’ give coach Jeremy Colliton contract extension before 2021 season

The Chicago coach has one season remaining on his contract.

Chicago Blackhawks v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Five

While many aspects of the Blackhawks may be changing during the 2020 offseason, one position appears to be remaining intact: the head coach.

The Blackhawks will “most likely” be offering a contract extension to coach Jeremy Colliton before the start of the 2021 season, general manager Stan Bowman told ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.

Colliton, 35, was named the 38th head coach in franchise history on Nov. 6, 2018, after the Blackhawks fired Joel Quenneville along with assistants Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson. When Colliton was hired, he was the youngest active head coach in the NHL.

Colliton’s initial contract with the team was a three-year deal worth around $1.4 million, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. That contract would’ve continued through the end of the 2020-21 NHL season.

In 137 games behind the Chicago bench, Colliton has a 62-58-17 record. The Blackhawks promoted former player and AHL assistant Sheldon Brookbank in January 2019 to Colliton’s staff and sent Barry Smith back to the front office. They parted ways with assistant Don Granto in April 2019 and hired Tomas Mitell and Marc Crawford the next two months, respectively, to give Colliton’s his staff for his first full season.

The Blackhawks qualified for the NHL’s 24-team return-to-play format in the 2020 postseason, upsetting the Oilers in the qualifying round before losing in five games to the Golden Knights in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Colliton’s NHL playing career consisted of 57 games from 2005-11 with the Islanders. He also played extensively in the AHL and in Sweden before injuries forced him into retirement and an early start to his coaching career. He spent four season coaching Mora IK in Sweden before being hired as Chicago’s AHL head coach of the Rockford IceHogs on May 18, 2017.