The Chicago Blackhawks announced Tuesday that they've fired head coach Joel Quenneville and assistants Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson, with Jeremy Colliton taking over as bench boss.
The Chicago Blackhawks have relieved Joel Quenneville of his coaching duties and have named Jeremy Colliton the 38th head coach in franchise history.— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 6, 2018
Quenneville leaves the Blackhawks with three Stanley Cup championship rings, an excellent 452-249-96 record and a Presidents' Trophy on his resume. The Blackhawks made the playoffs in nine of his 10 seasons on the job, so it's quite shocking that they'd give up on him this early in the season - despite rumors before the season that he was on the hot seat.
Mark Lazerus of the The Athletic noted that there was a serious power struggle between Quenneville and GM Stan Bowman. The latter was victorious in this one, blaming many of his terrible roster moves on the man who sits second all-time in head coaching victories with 890 - trailing only Scotty Bowman.
The Blackhawks sit at 6-6-3, sixth in the Central Division. Their goal differential is a minus-10, but Quenneville can only absorb so much of the blame.
Bowman made the ludicrous decision to trade away superstar Artemi Panarin to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2017, bringing back old friend but underachiever Brandon Saad - who had 35 points last year and just seven this season. Panarin, meanwhile, has 97 points in 95 career games with Columbus.
Chicago has been hit hard with their salary cap situation in recent years, but Bowman and the front office decided to invest most of their dollars into the likes of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook, Corey Crawford and Duncan Keith.
With the exception of Kane, these players are wearing down significantly and no longer in their playing primes. But Bowman is handcuffed with their contracts, and it's prevented him from being able to make more roster moves.
Quenneville's firing is a brutal reminder that no NHL coach is ever safe, even if he turned a team into a dynasty with three Stanley Cups and nine playoffs appearances over a 10-year span.