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Breaking News

Chicago Blackhawks fire coach Joel Quenneville

Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville talks with the team during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville talks with the team during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks have fired coach Joel Quenneville.

He has been replaced by Jeremy Colliton.

Quenneville leaves as the second-winningest head coach in Blackhawks history, registering a record of 452-249-96 in 797 games since 2008. He owns the best playoff record in Blackhawks history, compiling a record of 76-52 including three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013 and 2015).

"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," Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz said in a press release. "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."

His Blackhawks teams made the playoffs in nine of ten seasons and he stood as the longest tenured head coach in the NHL, having been officially hired by Chicago on October 16, 2008. He is the second-winningest coach in NHL history with an all-time record of 890-532-214. He coached 1,636 career games, first among active NHL coaches and second all-time. Prior to joining the Blackhawks, he served as head coach for the Colorado Avalanche (2005 - 08) and St. Louis Blues (1996 - 2004).

Colliton, 33, becomes the youngest head coach currently in the NHL. He was 12 games into his second season with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League and led the IceHogs to a record of 40-28-4-4 in 2017-18. Rockford made it to their first-ever 2018 AHL Western Conference Finals after sweeping Chicago in the Division Semifinals and sweeping Manitoba in the Division Finals before losing to Texas, four-games-to-two. Colliton was named IceHogs head coach on May 18, 2017-his first coaching job in North America.

Prior to joining the Blackhawks organization, Colliton spent four seasons as the head coach of Mora IK in Sweden (HockeyAllsvenskan). A native of Blackie, Alberta, Colliton guided his team to a league-best 35-13-4 record and 105 points during the 2016-17 season. Following the regular season, he led Mora IK to promotion to the Swedish Hockey League for the 2017-18 season after defeating Leksands IF in six games (4-2) of the best-of-seven series. Colliton joined the coaching ranks with Mora IK in an interim head coaching role during the 2013-14 season before taking over full-time the following season. In four seasons with Colliton behind the bench, Mora IK posted a 98-57-18 record.

Prior to becoming a coach, Colliton had an eight-year professional career primarily in the NHL and AHL. He appeared in 57 NHL games across five seasons (2005-09, 2010-11) with the New York Islanders, notching three goals and three assists. He was originally drafted by the Islanders in the second round (58thoverall) of the 2003 NHL Draft.

He spent parts of six seasons (2005-09, 2010-12) in the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, recording 203 points (77G, 126A) in 326 career games. Additionally, he had stints with Rogle Angelholm (2009-10) in the Swedish Elite League and Mora IK (2013-14). He also had experience on the international stage, earning gold and silver medals while representing Canada at the 2005 and 2004 IIHF World U20 Junior Championships, respectively. Colliton and his wife, Jen, have two sons, Ben and Jack, and a daughter, Olivia.

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