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11/6/18 7:54 AM
After ten plus seasons which included three Stanley Cup Championships as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, Joel Quenneville was let go according to a statement released by team President John McDonough.
Quenneville, 60, is being replaced by 33 year old Jeremy Colliton, a former NHL player who has been the head coach of the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.
At 33, Colliton becomes the youngest head coach in the NHL.
General Manager Stan Bowman has inserted longtime NHL coach Barry Smith as one of Colliton's assistant coaches. Smith was a right hand man to head coach Scotty Bowman behind the Penguins and Red Wings benches during the senior Bowman's Stanley Cup Championship years for those teams.
Scotty Bowman, 85, is senior advisor to the Blackhawks.
Quenneville's assistant coaches Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson were also dismissed by the club today.
A couple years ago, Quenneville's trusted long time assistant going back to his coaching days in St. Louis--Mike Kitchen--was let go by the club in a move that greatly bothered Quenneville. The Blackhawks wanted to bring in Barry Smith as assistant coach at that time, but Quenneville resisted the proposed move.
This move by the Blackhawks was long overdue, in my view. While some blame rests with the front office, Quenneville's time had past.
The game has changed. It's faster and younger. Going from Quenneville to Colliton is stark reflection on the changing times and trends in sports.
Colliton is younger than some of his Blackhawks players. But so was Scotty Bowman when he took over as bench boss of the Blues on November 22, 1967 at age 34 when Lynn Patrick got out of the way and ushered him in when it was obvious that Bowman was a master of line changes, line matching, communicating with the players, and running the bench.
Bowman was and still is a master analytical thinker. Always logical. Great command of the facts, numbers, data. Terrific at assessing character. Simply the greatest hockey mind of all time.
Team President John McDonough is a Scotty Bowman admirer and so am I. Quenneville may have been a good coach, but I thought this move should have been made a while ago. I don't see anything appealing about the personality of Joel Quenneville.
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