Blackhawks fire AHL coach Ted Dent as changes continue
The Chicago Blackhawks fired Rockford IceHogs coach Ted Dent on Tuesday following some turmoil that reportedly happened behind the scenes this past season.
The IceHogs went 25-39-9-3 in 2016-17 and finished in last place in the AHL’s Central Division. According to the Chicago Tribune, Dent was frustrated with the Chicago’s decision to either trade or call up some of his players, leaving his team with less talent.
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A source said Dent, who was the IceHogs’ head coach for six seasons, drew the ire of the Hawks in March when he apologized to fans on Twitter after the Hawks traded Spencer Abbott and Sam Carrick, two of the IceHogs’ best players, to the Ducks. Dent later deleted the tweet.
After the moves he told WREX-Ch. 13 in Rockford that: “We needed to be better and we weren’t so Chicago kind of dismantled our team … It’s not everyday you lose three of your top six forwards.”
The Hawks also traded another IceHog, Mark McNeill, to the Stars for Johnny Oduya.
Two sources also said Dent angered the Hawks when he sent out a frustrated text message to players saying if they had any questions about the lineup, they should contact (general manager Stan) Bowman directly.
The decision to get rid of Dent came a day after the Blackhawks fired assistant coach Mike Kitchen. This move reportedly upset Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville, who had worked with Kitchen for several years – first with the St. Louis Blues and then with Chicago.
The Nashville Predators swept the Blackhawks out of the playoffs this year in the first-round and last season Chicago lost in seven games to the St. Louis Blues in the first-round.
When the Bowman met reporters at Chicago’s locker cleanout day, he said that the results of the last two seasons were “unacceptable” and promised changes. He also noted the Blackhawks wanted more out of their AHL affiliate.
“It’s true that’s a good training ground,” Bowman said of Rockford. “The American League is also for players to get opportunities to succeed and fail that they might not get at this level. We want to be better there, as well. There’s no doubt we’re not happy with the fact our team didn’t make the playoffs. We have to find ways up and down our organization to be better.”
Dent started with the IceHogs in 2007-08 as an assistant coach and then became the team’s head coach in 2011-12. He was also an assistant with the Norfolk Admirals in 2006-07 when Chicago was affiliated with that franchise.
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“The Chicago Blackhawks thank Ted for all of his contributions throughout his tenure with the organization,” Bowman said in a statement. “He played a major role in helping a number of players reach the NHL level with the Chicago Blackhawks, many of whom became Stanley Cup champions. We wish Ted and his family the best.”
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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper
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