Farewell to Derek King
With the new hire of Luke Richardson as head coach, it's time to say goodbye to Derek King. King took over as interim head coach when the Blackhawks fired Jeremy Colliton a few games into the season. The Hawks were 1-9-2 to start the season with Colliton and ended the season with a record of 28-42-12. There's no way to know how much worse their record could've been if King didn't take over coaching.
Colliton and King were actually friends, which made it interesting when he became the interim coach. He was the assistant coach, while Colliton was the head coach of the Rockford Ice Hogs, before Colliton was called up to be the coach of the Blackhawks. When King was then hired to take his place, he said that even with them having a relationship, they both know at the end of the day it's a business.
King walked into straight chaos with an ongoing scandal, low morale and a looming rebuild over his head. He did the best he could with what he was given and ultimately was able to win over the locker room. The locker room isn't the only thing he won over though.
From day one, fans noticed that he was much more open, laid back, and personable than Colliton. He kept the attitude of having fun in his interviews and even while talking to the players about what he wants from them. Fun was a huge theme in his coaching style.
Personally, I wouldn't have minded if he remained the head coach because he seemed to be a good fit. The players respected him and wanted to play for him, which is something not all coaches get, especially an interim one. He had a different approach to coaching and was a lot more open with the players. It would have been interesting to see where he could've taken the team.
With that being said, I'm excited to see what Luke Richardson can do for the team and wish King nothing, but the best. I'm sure he's excited to be going back to Rockford, where he feels more comfortable. I would like to see him as a head coach in the NHL again one day.