Jeremy Colliton

Blackhawks Fire Head Coach Jeremy Colliton, Name Derek King Interim Coach

The Chicago Blackhawks, off to one of their worst starts in team history, have made a coaching change, relieving head coach Jeremy Colliton of his duties.

The team made the announcement Saturday afternoon, three years to the day after hiring Colliton to replace former head coach Joel Quenneville.

The Blackhawks also fired assistant coaches Tomas Mitell and Sheldon Brookbank.

The team named Rockford IceHogs head coach Derek King as their interim head coach, according to a press release.

“It’s been an extremely difficult couple of weeks for our organization, and we have come to terms with a number of necessary changes,” CEO Danny Wirtz said in a statement. “As we look to move forward, we know we must earn back the trust of our fans, and we are grateful for the support of our entire community as we work to do just that.”

Interim General Manager Kyle Davidson said that the team has “not delivered” on creating an elite hockey system, and says that the team is hopeful that King will bridge the gap toward finding a permanent coach.

“We appreciate Derek’s willingness to step in behind the bench as we embark on our search for our permanent head coach,” Davidson said. “His NHL experience as a player and work with our younger players in Rockford over the last four years gives us great confidence in his ability to lead the Chicago Blackhawks in this interim role.”

Colliton, who took over as head coach after the team fired Quenneville in 2018, posted an 87-92-26 record in 205 games behind the bench.

The Blackhawks, who made several significant offseason acquisitions, including Seth Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury, have started out as one of the worst teams in the league, going 1-9-2 in their first 12 games, including a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.  

King will make his Blackhawks debut on Sunday night when Chicago hosts the Nashville Predators at the United Center.

We will have more on this story as it develops.

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