Ready or not, Blackhawks entering new era with hiring of 33-year-old Jeremy Colliton as head coach

Ready or not, Blackhawks entering new era with hiring of 33-year-old Jeremy Colliton as head coach

After missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2007-08, the Blackhawks made it clear that changes would be made if the results didn't as well going into the 2018-19 season.

The Blackhawks started out 6-2-2 and did so without Corey Crawford for the first five games, which gave the city of Chicago hope that 2017-18 may have been a blip.

But since then, they've lost five in a row (0-4-1) and the same issues that were magnified last season are still there: the power play remains near the bottom of the league, they've given up the second-most high quality scoring chances at even strength and the depth scoring has been a non-factor.

Something needed to change.

In an effort to do that, the Blackhawks relieved the second winningest coach in NHL history and three-time Stanley Cup winner Joel Quenneville of his duties and named Jeremy Colliton the new head coach

By no means is Quenneville at sole fault for what has transpired over the last several seasons. There's certainly blame to go around everywhere. But the Blackhawks know they can't sit back and let another season pass without being in contention during the prime years of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, both of whom are off to their best starts of their careers in Year 12.

Quenneville was in his 11th season in Chicago, by far the most of any active head coach; for reference, Jon Cooper is now the new leader in his seventh season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. That's how spoiled the Blackhawks have been with Quenneville, who will forever be known as one of the greatest coaches in Chicago sports history.

By bringing in Colliton, the Blackhawks are hoping a new voice can help change the fortunes of this season and beyond but also instill new philosophies in a game that's constantly evolving. At 33 years of age, Colliton becomes the youngest active NHL head coach.

Colliton led the Rockford IceHogs to their first-ever Western Conference Finals after compiling a 40-28-4-4 record in his first season as an American Hockey League head coach in 2017-18. Before that, he spent four seasons as head coach of Mora IK in Sweden, where he guided his team a league-best 35-13-4 record and 105 points during the 2016-17 campaign.

People around the league have raved about Colliton's projection as an NHL head coach one day, but perhaps didn't see it coming this soon.

Core players have been traded. Assistant coaches have been fired. Quenneville was the perfect coach to oversee a well-oiled machine for the last decade. But times have changed.

In the middle of a retooling period, the Blackhawks felt it was time to part ways with the future Hall of Fame coach and hand the keys to somebody with no NHL coaching experience, but has a new way of thinking.

Ready or not, welcome to a new era.

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Are the Blackhawks relying too much on Corey Crawford?


Hawks Talk Podcast: Are the Blackhawks relying too much on Corey Crawford?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast Adam Burish joins Pat Boyle to breakdown the Hawks’ recent four-game points streak, Corey Crawford's second star of the week honors and Brandon Saad’s best stretch of hockey since he returned to Chicago.

Burish talks about the criticism that Nick Schmaltz receives, the tweaks to the power play and whether he is impressed with how the team leaders have handled the coaching change.

Burish also shares his thoughts on Joel Quenneville attending Sunday night’s Bears game, Eddie Olczyk’s "One More Shift" and shares a couple off-ice stories about Patrick Kane.

:36 - What have you seen over this four-game points streak?

2:35 - Crow is second star of the week, are the Hawks relying too much on Crawford?

4:00 - Crow: no soft goals and rebound control

5:30 - Problems exiting zone cleanly

8:00 - Art of the hoister

9:40 - Best Saad has looked?

10:45 - Schmaltz inconsistencies

12:30 - New wrinkles on Power Play

16:30 - Sikura call up?

18:00 - Leaders handling coaching change

22:00 - What Q’s been up to

25:00 - Burish Beauty

26:00 - Edzo's One More Shift and Hockey Fight’s Cancer Night

28:30 - Kane’s 21st Birthday and off-ice 88 story

Listen to the full Hawks Talk Podcast right here:

Corey Crawford named NHL's second star of the week

Corey Crawford named NHL's second star of the week

Corey Crawford was named the NHL's second star of the week after going 2-0-1 with a 0.65 goals-against average, .980 save percentage and a shutout.

The Blackhawks netminder kicked things off by stopping all 28 shots faced in a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on Wedensday night. He then recorded 31 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night, and concluded the week with a stellar 39-save performance in a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.

Prior to Wednesday, the Blackhawks had been on an eight-game losing streak. In the last three games, the team recorded five out of a possible six points, and Crawford is a big reason why.

In 12 games this season, Crawford is 5-6-1 with a 2.44 goals against average, .922 save percentage, and a shutout.

Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (five goals and eight points in three games) and San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (five goals and six points in three games) were named the first and third stars, respectively.