The Chicago Blackhawks fired coach Joel Quenneville on Tuesday.
Quenneville, who won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, was the longest-serving NHL coach. He has been in the team since 2008.
Chicago named their AHL coach Jeremy Colliton as the new coach. Colliton, 33, becomes the youngest head coach in the NHL.
Owner Rocky Wirtz issued a statement saying that Quenneville's team (60) parted ways with his "full support".
"As the fans of Chicago Blackhawks have seen in the last decade, this organization is no longer shying away from hard decisions or emotions," Wirtz said in his statement. Of course, Joel was difficult as it should have been, and during his tenure as Head Coach at the Chicago Blackhawks, Joel brought Chicago and our fans three Stanley Cups and an incredible era of hockey. "
Last season, the Blackhawks missed the playoffs for the first time in ten years. They were without goalkeeper Corey Crawford throughout the season. Crawford returned in 2018-19, but the Blackhawks are 6-6-3, the second-worst record in the Central Division. After a quick start, they only took one of 10 possible points.
The Blackhawks also fired assistant coaches Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson. Barry Smith, 66, was appointed assistant coach at Colliton's staff.
"This is certainly a very difficult decision," said General Manager Stan Bowman in a statement. "However, I believe that this is in the best interests of the Blackhawks organization, we must maximize every opportunity with our playoff goals, and at the same time create continuous growth and development in our squad." After much deliberation, the last days will take a lot of respect What Joel meant to the Blackhawks, we knew we needed to change things: in addition to appreciating everything Joel has achieved for our franchise, we also thank Kevin and Ulf for their many contributions and wish them all the best for the future. "
Last season there were no changes in the NHL for the first time since the expansion of Original Six during the season. Quenneville's departure marks the second shot in a week. The Los Angeles Kings fired coach John Stevens over the weekend and replaced him with Willie Desjardins.
Collition was the top Blackhawks affiliate in his second season as Rockford Ice Hog's head coach. Rockford made it to the first AHL Western Conference final last season.
Prior to joining Blackhawks, Colliton spent four seasons as head coach of Mora IK in Sweden (HockeyAllsvenskan).
Collition was a second round (58th place) of the New York Islanders in the NHL Draft 2003. He played in 57 NHL games over five seasons with the islanders and recorded three goals and three assists.