The Chicago Blackhawks signed head coach Jeremy Colliton to a two-year contract extension Tuesday, citing his ability to help develop their young players as they move forward in their rebuilding process.
Colliton, who took over the team after the firing of Joel Quenneville in Nov. 2018, is now under contract through the end of the 2022-23 season.
I’m thankful to the Wirtz family and Stan Bowman for their continued support during my time with the organization,” Colliton said in a statement. “I look forward to the challenge of developing a team our fans will be proud of and leading the Chicago Blackhawks back to a championship level.”
Colliton was the youngest head coach in the NHL when he took over the team, and helped the Blackhawks to a playoff berth last summer during the league’s restarted season in Edmonton. He has a 62-58-17 record in 137 regular season games with Chicago.
“Jeremy has shown an innate ability to develop young talent throughout his two seasons as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks,” Blackhawks President of Hockey Operations Stan Bowman said in a statement. “This, coupled with his vast knowledge of the game, exceptional communication skills and determination to win, makes us extremely confident Jeremy has what it takes to lead our team back to an elite level as we continue to build a roster that can compete year in and year out.”
The Blackhawks went into the offseason planning to initiate a rebuild of their roster, and they began to move in that direction when they allowed goaltender Corey Crawford to hit free agency. They also traded forward Brandon Saad to the Colorado Avalanche.
In addition to the challenge of rebuilding the team and coaching young players, Colliton will also have to shuffle his lineups significantly, as both Kirby Dach and Alex Nylander could potentially miss the entire regular season. Captain Jonathan Toews is also out indefinitely with an unspecified medical condition, leaving another lineup spot that Colliton and company will have to fill.
The head coach will celebrate his new contract and his 36th birthday on Wednesday when the Blackhawks open the 2020-21 season against the Tampa Bay Lightning.