Blackhawks fire Quenneville, hire NHL's youngest coach

FILE PHOTO: Jan 1, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville talks to the media during practice for the Winter Classic hockey game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Reuters)

Head coach Joel Quenneville was fired by the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. Quenneville had the second-most victories in team history. Chicago started the season 6-6-3. "As Chicago Blackhawks fans have seen over the last decade, this organization no longer shies away from making tough decisions or ones based on emotion," owner Rocky Wirtz said in a statement. "Those days are long behind us. Of course, Joel's was difficult, as it should have been. During his tenure as head coach to the Chicago Blackhawks, Joel brought the city of Chicago and our fans three Stanley Cups and an incredible era of hockey." Jeremy Colliton, 33, was announced as Quenneville's replacement in the team's announcement in addition to multiple coaching staff changes. The Blackhawks missed the playoffs last season for the first time in Quenneville's 10 seasons since he was hired in 2008. He leaves with a record of 452-249-96 in 797 games. Quenneville's 76-52 record in the playoffs includes three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013 and 2015), and is the best postseason mark in team history. "We are extremely fortunate to have Jeremy Colliton in the Blackhawks organization and feel strongly that he is best positioned to continue leading our players here in Chicago. All of those associated with Jeremy strongly believe he possesses many of the tools that will make him a successful head coach in this league," general manager Stan Bowman said. "He has been very impressive as a communicator, a leader, and coach. He knows the Blackhawks system, understands our players and our culture and we believe he gives us the best opportunity to have success and grow as a team." Colliton, who played eight seasons in the NHL and AHL, was in his second season as head coach of the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL. He becomes the youngest head coach in the NHL. Barry Smith was named assistant coach on Colliton's staff, which will not include assistant coaches Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson. The rest of the Blackhawks coaching staff will remain with the team. --Field Level Media