The Blackhawks have signed head coach Jeremy Colliton to a two-year contract extension, the team made official on Tuesday. The deal runs through the 2022-23 season; his original contract is set to expire at the end of this season.
Colliton was named the 38th head coach in franchise history on Nov. 6, 2018, becoming the youngest active NHL bench boss at the time, at age 33. He's now the 14th-longest-tenured head coach in the league.
Colliton joined the Blackhawks Talk Podcast to discuss his extension and what the vote of confidence means to him going into the 2020-21 season.
"I'm grateful for the belief and the confidence that the Blackhawks and the Wirtz family and Stan [Bowman] and management are showing that we're on the right path and they believe in what we're doing," Colliton said. "I'm excited about the challenge that we have. I think we've started that process and we're moving in the right direction and just excited to be working at building something.
"Ultimately, it's all about winning. We want to be an elite team, we want to be a Top 10 team year after year, so, to me, it's just exciting I have the support to continue trying to build that up."
The Blackhawks took a big leap of faith by hiring Colliton, who served as the head coach of Mora IK in Sweden for four years and guided his team to first place to earn the club a promotion to the Swedish Hockey League. He then led the Rockford IceHogs to the franchise's first-ever trip to the Western Conference Final in his first season with the organization.
Now Colliton is looking to do the same at the NHL level, and the Blackhawks feel he's the right guy to help develop the next wave of young talent and get Chicago back into perennial playoff contenders.
"To be brought over from Sweden to coach Rockford and to get the opportunity to follow Joel [Quenneville] was a huge honor," Colliton said. "I want to repay that belief. I want to repay the faith that they've shown in me and ultimately I do that together with the staff and Stan and getting back to being a top team again.
"That's motivating and exciting. You love coming to work and just knowing that there's a challenge here, but we've got a lot of fun guys to work with and I'm just excited to get going."
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