As the Chicago Blackhawks continue to try to recreate the winning culture they had just a few seasons ago, they will be doing it with a new coaching staff.
The days of Joel Quenneville and Mike Kitchen are over. We now have a new group of coaches leading the Blackhawks.
Blackhawks fans might not know a lot about the guys in the suits running the team game-in and game-out, so here is a little profile about the coaching staff for Chicago.
Head Coach: Jeremy Colliton
Jeremy Colliton has been the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks since November of 2018. However, the team really was not his.
Colliton will use this offseason to continue to mold the Blackhawks into the team he envisions. That starts with the coaching staff.
Colliton played in the NHL for just 6 seasons. After his playing career ended in 2014, he started coaching.
Colliton offers a unique perspective as a head coach. He is someone who can really sympathize with the players, seeing that he is the same age as Brent Seabrook. The two played on the same team growing up.
As of now, Colliton is the youngest head coach in the NHL. With a coaching staff of his own behind him, it will be interesting to see where the Blackhawks go next season.
Assistant Coach: Sheldon Brookbank
Sheldon Brookbank has only been a coach since 2017, but his history with the Blackhawks goes back further than that.
Brookbank won the Stanley Cup with Chicago back in 2013, after which he failed to see another NHL game, and instead, spent some time in the KHL.
Behindthebenches.com lists Brookbank as the ‘Hawks defense and penalty killing coach. The former Blackhawks defenseman will have his work cut out for him. He will play an integral role in running Chicago’s defense going into next season.
With young guys like Jokiharju, Boqvist, and Beaudin all nearing the jump to the NHL, Chicago will need to have a coach that knows what they are going through.
Assistant Coach: Marc Crawford
Marc Crawford, the newest addition to Jeremy Colliton’s coaching staff, will most likely be running the Blackhawks power play and penalty kill.
Crawford is an experienced head coach that Colliton can lean on for advice at times. A former Blackhawks head coach used to lean on Crawford as well.
Joel Quenneville, Chicago’s old head coach, served under Crawford way back in 1994 as an assistant coach. Maybe Colliton can learn a few things from Crawford along the way next season.
Crawford also brings Stanley Cup experience to the coaching staff having won the Cup with Colorado back in 1996.
Assistant Coach: Tomas Mitell
Tomas Mitell has never coached in the NHL, but he coached with Jeremy Colliton. The two young coaches worked together in Sweden in 2017, and they kept in touch after Colliton left for the AHL.
Adding Mitell to the staff is Colliton’s way of making the team his own. Behindthebenches.com lists Mitell as a player development coach for the Blackhawks and most likely his primary role will be helping the younger players on the team.
Goaltending Coach: Jimmy Waite
Jimmy Waite, Chicago’s goalie coach since 2014, is the longest tenured coach in Chicago’s system.
Luckily, having Corey Crawford around in a more sheltered role can help Delia, and possibly Lankinen, as they compete for a spot.
Crow has helped goalies like Scott Darling and Antti Raanta move on to a starting position in the NHL. Maybe he can help the Blackhawks’ current goalie prospects too.
Who Really Runs the Team?
One rumor that always seemed to be circulating the media just last offseason was that Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman did not have the best relationship.
The two former co-workers had a hard time seeing eye-to-eye on the direction of the team. That changed when Bowman hired his first coach as a GM in the NHL.
Bowman brought in Jeremy Colliton, and instantly started to talk about his great communication skills and how Jeremy can help lead the team.
If the Blackhawks want to be successful in the future, everyone needs to work together. Colliton’s coaching staff now has the same mindset about how to approach next season, working on both communication and special teams.
Colliton also seems to understand that Bowman is the one running the Blackhawks in the big picture. Faith in Bowman might make Jeremy Colliton a successful NHL head coach in the future.