This is almost certainly a hypothesis that will be proven to be wrong just because it was said, but Derek King will NOT be the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks next year. The answer is simple really, although it feels unfair to say it-King is simply too honest.
It's not necessary to belabour how underwhelming Chicago has been this year. However, as the rebuild has been set in motion, one of the pieces of the puzzle, the head coach, has yet to be answered. Personally, I think a clean slate is best for Chicago.
Really, what do they have to lose? It's a rebuild, so being terrible is kind of part of the plan anyway. This is why King isn't the right coach. During his post-game media sessions, he hasn't minced words. On more than one occasion, he has commented on the overall quality of the team. Take for example this quote via Ben Pope from the Chicago Sun-Times after the loss to Tampa Bay on April 1st:
One on hand, he's not wrong. Chicago doesn't have the level of quality on its roster to chase the Stanley Cup. King is 100% correct with this assessment, unfortunately. Anyone watching has seen what the team has been all year long. Normally, honesty is the best policy, but King can't throw his players under the bus. What must that locker room pep talk sound like?
"Look, I know you all want to win the Stanley Cup, and it's what you've been aspiring to since you were children. At the end of thy day though, you just aren't good enough. Maybe next year after some of you have been traded for draft picks. Until then, this is the best you can collectively do. Now, GO TEAM on 3!"
From an analysts' perspective, he's correct. The team isn't good enough, and there's no debating that. However, he's not one of the talking heads breaking the game down for viewers at home, he's the coach. It's his job to get the players motivated game after game, devise strategies to maximize the team's strengths, and try and get the best out of his players. Telling the world they aren't good enough isn't head coach material, even if he's right.
This blog has promoted the idea that King was the right person for the job, but for my part, I don't agree with that sentiment. Clearly, I'm not the GM, but if I was, I'd start from scratch with the coaches. King stepped in and did an admirable job, and did so under unenviable circumstances. The real question, at least to me, is does he stay with the organization? That's a question that won't be answered until Chicago's season finally ends.
There would certainly be a place for him, and his experience behind the bench in Chicago would likely help him if reclaimed his post in Rockford. This is a question that probably isn't going to be answered until the Blackhawks have cleaned out their lockers. Mercifully, that end for the season will likely be by the end of April.