Blackhawks players' first impressions of new coach Jeremy Colliton

NBC Sports Chicago

Blackhawks players' first impressions of new coach Jeremy Colliton originally appeared on nbcsportschicago.com

They say first impressions are everything, and Jeremy Colliton has seemingly made a good one on the Blackhawks players through two days of practice. Yesterday was a day for players to process their emotions of the sudden firing of Joel Quenneville, and today it was back to work under the new regime.

Here are four quick first impressions from Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Alex DeBrincat on their new bench boss.

Jonathan Toews:

On his first impression…

"He made a comment to us yesterday, that it comes to winning, that he would make small changes that will help us win, and I think that was a smart move there. He's great communicator, and he wants to take the time to get to know each player." 

On playing for a 33-year-old…

"It's really interesting to see a guy, who has experience playing professional hockey, and translates that to being an NHL coach so quickly at his age. He's doing things really well already."

Alex DeBrincat:

On playing for a young coach…

"We had a lot thrown at us today, but he does a really good job of explaining things and making sure we're absorbing it. He really likes to the push the message to us. I like him, he really knows the game, and he's smart."

Duncan Keith:

On what improvements Jeremy Colliton can make to help this team win…

"To me it doesn't matter who's behind the bench, we always put the pressure on ourselves to do our best. I think Jeremy is a bright guy and we always have respect for the coach. We will always try to do what our coach tells us to do, but we're the ones out on the ice… you can have a great game plan, but if we don't go out and execute, then that's on us."

Patrick Kane:

On his first impression of Jeremy Colliton…

"He's a very smart guy, and a bright hockey mind. I think he can bring a lot to our team and help us out a lot. I'm looking forward to working with him."

On taking direction from a 33 year old…

"That's just a side story. He's had a pretty quick rise to the top, he's obviously doing something right so you have to listen to him."

On setting aside his emotions of Joel Quenneville's absence and moving forward…

"It's the business side of it. We haven't dealt with much coaching turnover here, but we have to set that stuff aside and put our trust in Jeremy now." 

In summary, the first impressions surrounding the new bench boss, Jeremy Colliton, were positive around the locker room. At the end of the day, it was made clear from management all the way down to the players, that they're in the business of winning, and that is exactly the standard they will all adhere to the rest of the season.

As for building trust and relationships with the veteran players quickly?

Colliton knows that winning will resolve that too.

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