The Chicago Blackhawks fired Jeremy Colliton on November 6, 2021, exactly four years to the day that they fired Joel Quenneville. The team was 1-9-2 under Colliton this season and the decision to let him go is telling for the direction of the Hawks.
Under Colliton, the Chicago Blackhawks were 86-92-26 over the course of the past four seasons. From November of 2018 to November of 2021 he had coached 204 NHL games, and never did better than sixth within the division.
I know it has been more than a week since he has been let go, but lets take one final look back at Jeremy Colliton with the Chicago Blackhawks:
Jeremy Colliton coached 67 games in 2018-19, 70 games in 2019-20, 56 games in 2020-21, and 11 games in 2021-22. Looking back on it the years do seem to all merge together a little bit, but it all still seems surprising when realizing he never got a full 82 game season to coach this franchise.
Of course, this would have been the year for a full 82 game season, but starting the year with just one win in 11 games is not going to give you a lot of time to right your wrongs. Colliton definitely had a tough job, one destined for failure when looking at who he had to replace.
Joel Quenneville is the second most winningest coach of all time, and a three time Stanley Cup Champion with the Blackhawks. Having the team bring in a new guy with no background with the team after forcing a coach that successful out the door was going to be hard to win over. Over time during that first season Colliton did win over some fans as the team did start to win some games and finished with a fun offense to watch.
But over the course of the past few years Colliton’s teams did not get better. Despite adding players like Fleury and Jones and Johnson, the Hawks were horrible to start the year with Colliton, and the past few weeks have shown how much more energized they are without him around.
It is worth noting Colliton has done a lot of good for the team. He had a bad goaltender situation last year and yet he found a starter in Lankinen. He really pushed DeBrincat to be a better all around player, and he has helped a lot of different young players that have broken into the league the last year like Hagel, Kurashev, and Hardman.
While the team did not end on the best of terms with Colliton I think he is going to get another shot in the NHL someday and I hope he succeeds. This year the record and the handling of players like Dylan Strome ultimately ended with Colliton being relieved, and a new first time NHL coach getting a chance with the team.
In the meantime Derek King is a perfect 3-0-0 with the Blackhawks, and some of the quotes out of the players might be telling as to how Jeremy Colliton was running things and how the team was feeling with him in charge.
"“You want to win for a guy like that. He’s open. He’s honest. He’s going to call a spade, a spade. As a player that’s all you can ask for. We want to play our hearts out for him.Riley Stillman on playing for Derek King"
The Chicago Blackhawks next game is on Wednesday against the Seattle Kraken when they try to improve their record from the current 4-9-2 they currently sit at.