NHL Blackhawks fire Colliton as coach after woeful start

·2-min read
Chicago Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton was fired on Saturday after the team won only one of its first 12 NHL games this season (AFP/JONATHAN DANIEL)

Jeremy Colliton was fired as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday after the team lost for the 11th time in their first 12 games of the National Hockey Leagueseason.

The 36-year-old Canadian had gone 87-92 with 26 over-time losses since he was made the NHL's youngest head coach when he took over after the firing of Joel Quenneville exactly three years ago.

The Blackhawks are off to a 1-9-2 start this season after losing 5-1 to Winnipeg on Friday, second-worst in the 32-team league.

Assistant coaches Tomas Mitell and Sheldon Brookbank were also axed, while assistants Marc Crawford and Jim Waite were retained.

On October 26, the league fined the Chicago Blackhawks $2 million and two senior executives left the franchise after an investigation found the team failed to properly deal with allegations of sexual misconduct made against a former video coach in 2010.

"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," said Blackhawks chief executive Danny Wirtz.

"As we look to move forward, we know we must earn back the trust of our fans."

Derek King, coach of the Blackhawks' top developmental club since April 2019, was named interim coach of the Blackhawks.

"This team has a lot of talent I'm familiar with from my time in the organization and I look forward to working with them behind the bench," King said.

Interim general manager Kyle Davidson called the changes difficult but necessary.

"Our on-ice goal remains the same: to build an elite system of hockey -- and we have not delivered on that," said Davidson. "The fact is our play and competitiveness must improve. Every game, every shift."

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