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Blackhawks Fire Jeremy Colliton; Derek King Promoted to Interim Head Coach

Colliton was 87-92-26 in four seasons with the Blackhawks after replacing three-time Stanley Cup champion coach Joel Quenneville.

Blackhawks Fire Jeremy Colliton Head Coach
Photo: NHL.com

Jeremy Colliton was fired as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Derek King, 54, will take over as Chicago’s interim head coach. He previously served as head coach of the Rockford IceHogs. Anders Sorensen will move from his assistant coach role to interim head coach for the IceHogs.

The Blackhawks (1-9-2) also fired assistant coaches Tomas Mitell and Sheldon Brookbank. Marc Crawford remains on staff as an assistant coach.

“It has been an extremely difficult couple of weeks for our organization, and we have had to come to terms with a number of necessary changes,” Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz said in a statement. “As we look to move forward, we know we must earn back the trust of our fans, and we are grateful for the support of our entire community as we work to do just that. On the ice, Interim General Manager Kyle Davidson has our full confidence and autonomy to make hockey decisions, and we support him on this coaching change. We appreciate all that Jeremy has brought to the Blackhawks, and we look forward to working with Derek as our interim head coach while we work to rebuild our permanent hockey operations leadership.”

Colliton, 36, who replaced three-time Stanley Cup champion coach Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6, 2018, was 87-92-26 in four seasons with the Blackhawks. Colliton held a 1-4 record in the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Vegas Golden Knights in 2020 after Chicago defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 in a Stanley Cup Qualifiers series.

Colliton was 46-31-4-7 for Rockford of the American Hockey League, his first coaching job in North America. He was 40-28-4-4 in his first season when Rockford advanced to the Western Conference Finals. He joined the Blackhawks 12 games into his second season with Rockford.

Before joining the Blackhawks organization, Colliton coached Mora IK in Sweden’s second division, HockeyAllsvenskan, for four seasons and was 98-57-18.

King joined Rockford as an assistant coach in 2016 then after three seasons took over as head coach when Colliton jumped to the NHL job. The IceHogs did not qualify for the playoffs under King, a first-round pick by the New York Islanders in 1985.

“Our on-ice goal remains the same: to build an elite system of hockey – and we have not delivered on that. The fact is our play and competitiveness must improve,” Davidson said. “Every game, every shift. Today’s coaching changes are difficult, especially given the incredible personal connections Jeremy and others have made with our players in their development. We appreciate Jeremy’s contributions to the organization over the last three seasons, and we wish him and his family the best.

We appreciate Derek’s willingness to step in behind the bench as we embark on our search for our next permanent head coach. His NHL experience as a player and work with our younger players in Rockford over the last four years gives us great confidence in his ability to lead the Chicago Blackhawks in this interim role.”

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Brandon is a contributor for On Tap Sports Net covering the Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Steel. He also covers the Blackhawks as an independent correspondent for NHL.com. Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandonmcain.

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