The morning of October 6 the Chicago Blackhawks announced their release of head coach Joel Quenneville as well as two assistant coaches. He will be replaced by coach Jeremy Colliton who will be the youngest head coach in the NHL this season.
Colliton was the coach of the Rockford Ice Hogs when he was pulled up by the Blackhawks organization to take over Quenneville's position. He was only 12 games into his second season with the IceHogs when he was pulled up. His record from last year is 40-28-4-4
The frustrating thing for many Blackhawks fans with the situation is that this decision comes from the same higher-ups who traded away Artemi Panarin for Brandon Saad, who was underperforming in his last season with the Columbus Bluejackets. At the time Panarin along with linemate Kane were the top performing line in terms of goals. That same season he would win the Calder Trophy for his performance. It could be argued that the bonus Panarin earned for his exceptional performance is what prompted his trade as for the Hawks to free up space in the salary cap. However, Saad was definitely not even close to being a beneficial trade.
Following this over the summer of 2017, the Hawks also traded Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Coyotes. This is important as he was one of the key defenders for the Hawks. Leaving much to be desired by fans. Again this was done under the guise of freeing up some much-needed cap space.
To say fans are disappointed is an understatement. Many fans have taken to openly criticizing Stan Bowman about his prior actions not just his decision to fire Joel Quenneville. Daniel Carcillo, a former Blackhawks player, took to Twitter to defend him by stating Bowman was a big support in his path to being clean from drug use.
However, the bottom line comes out to that a team can't be expected to win so easily by something as huge as a coach switch. It takes time to build the trust within a coach, not to mention every coach has a different strategy when it comes to their game plan. Not only that but the history of Quenneville being with the team for years, and also the most winningest coach in the NHL, will make the transition difficult as the core group of players have played under him for the majority of their career.