By now, everyone should know that the Chicago Blackhawks made the unpopular decision to fire their head coach and three-time Stanley Cup champion, Joel Quenneville.
There had been rumblings for a few weeks that the Blackhawks were looking to make a change, and they did just that on Tuesday morning.
Quenneville will he replaced by 33-year-old Jeremey Colliton. The former AHL coach is best described as an analytics fan and above average motivator.
Look, I’d be lying if I didn’t think coach Q’s time in Chicago was coming to an end sometime in the near future. However, I didn’t think his time in Chicago would end before Stan Bowman’s tenure was up.
It’s mind boggling to think that Rocky Wirtz and the rest of the Hawks’ higher ups would let Bowman continue to make personal moves. Last time I checked, coach Q didn’t have control of the roster, right?
In fact, if anyone is to blame for the Hawks missing the playoffs last year and not being cup contenders in the final years of the Kane and Toews era it’s Bowman, who should be on the way out, not a coach who was able to win not one, not two, but three world championships.
“The Hawks are stacked in the minors with defensemen.”
That’s great and all, but again, how does that help the team win now with two players that come around once in a generation. Yes, the hope is that those players in the minors can turn into the next version of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, but prospects are not a sure thing.
Kane and Toews at this point still have enough to be the best players on a championship team. They are also proven winners that deserved more from their incompetent general manager.
After the 2015 cup, things went downhill for the front office.
They signed Brent Seabrook to a monster contract, traded away the good Brandon Saad, and would go on to eventually trade Panarin and Hjalmarsson as well.
The front office, mainly Stan Bowman, has had three lackluster off-seasons in a row…where is his punishment?
Clearly, the Hawks made the decision to side with the Bowmans. I made that plural because you better believe Scotty Bowman is involved somehow.
Former Blackhawks players Brent Sopel and Daniel Carcillo didn’t like the move to fire the second winningest coach in NHL history. In fact, Carcillo called it nothing more than a move by John McDonough and Stan Bowman to save their jobs.
I couldn’t have said it any better.
Like any coach, Q had positives and negatives to his philosophy. He even ran some players out of town like Trevor Daley, but still, he won hockey games when it mattered most.
People act like Bowman drafted Keith, Seabrook, Kane and Toews, but he did not. Bowman hasn’t done anything besides make a few underrated trades when his team was pressed up against the cap.
Guess who created that cap situation though? Mr. Stan Bowman himself.
The Hawks were trying to find a reason to fire coach Q. That much is obvious now. Keep this in mind though.
It’s not Q’s fault that the back-end is one of the worst units in the entire NHL. It’s not Q’s fault that Bowman failed to make the right moves necessary to make the Hawks a cup contender during the final years of the Kane and Toews era.
Look at what the Penguins were able to do for Crosby and Malkin. The hope is that can happen for the Hawks, but I don’t see it with this roster built by a man who somehow still has a job today.
The bottom line is coach Q got a raw deal. He’s the scapegoat for a general manager that has failed three future Hall of Famers.
Unfortunately, that is the world of professional sports. Still, it’s hard not to feel for the greatest coach in Chicago Blackhawks history, and perhaps, the greatest coach in NHL history.
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