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NHL Roundup: Blackhawks Fire Three-Time Cup-Winning Coach

  • FILE - In this March 30, 2018, file photo, Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, back, looks down after his team gave up a power-play goal against the Colorado Avalanche inthe second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver. The Blackhawks have fired three-time Stanley Cup winning coach Joel Quenneville on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

  • FILE - In this July 21, 2017 file photo, Chicago Blackhawks' head coach Joel Quenneville speaks at a news conference during the NHL hockey team's convention in Chicago. The Blackhawks have fired the three-time Stanley Cup winning coach. General manager Stan Bowman announced the startling dismissal of Quenneville and assistants Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, and appointed Jeremy Colliton the new coach. Chicago was off to a 6-6-3 start and missed the playoffs last season. (AP Photo/G-Jun Yam, File)



Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Chicago — Joel Quenneville knew the deal. After three Stanley Cup titles and nine playoff appearances with the Chicago Blackhawks, the longtime coach figured this was a big season for him.

“I only think we’re in the winning business and we better win,” Quenneville said on the first day of training camp.

Two months later, it was over.

The Blackhawks fired Quenneville on Tuesday, ending a wildly successful run that returned the franchise to the top of the NHL after years of heartache. Chicago has lost five games in a row.

“This is certainly a very difficult decision,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “But I believe it is in the best interests of the Blackhawks organization.”

Assistants Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson also were let go. Jeremy Colliton was hired as the 38th head coach in franchise history, and Barry Smith, 66, moved from Chicago’s front office to the bench as an assistant coach.

Colliton goes from Chicago’s American Hockey League affiliate in Rockford, Ill., to become the NHL’s youngest head coach at 33. Blackhawks forward Chris Kunitz, defenseman Duncan Keith and goaltenders Corey Crawford and Cam Ward are older than Colliton, and defenseman Brent Seabrook also is 33.

The 60-year-old Quenneville had another year left on a three-year contract extension he signed in 2016 that pays him $6 million per year, second highest in the NHL behind Mike Babcock in Toronto.

He was the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL and the second coach fired in the past three days after the Los Angeles Kings dismissed John Stevens.

The former NHL defenseman has 890 wins in 22 years as a head coach with St. Louis, Colorado and Chicago. Scotty Bowman, Stan’s father and a senior adviser with the Blackhawks, is the only man with more regular-season victories.

Quenneville took over Chicago four games into the 2008-09 season, replacing Denis Savard after the Hall of Famer was let go by former general manager Dale Tallon. What followed was an unprecedented run for one of the NHL’s Original Six franchises.

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Keith and Seabrook blossomed with Quenneville behind the bench, and the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

Tuesday’s Games

Blue Jackets 4, Stars 1

Columbus, Ohio — Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves to lift Columbus over Dallas. Anthony Duclair, Markus Nutivaara, Nick Foligno and Ryan Murray scored for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a two-game skid.

Rangers 5, Canadiens 3

New York — Neal Pionk scored the tiebreaking goal on a sensational, end-to-end rush late in the third period and the Rangers rallied to beat Montreal for their fourth straight win.

Maple Leafs 3, Golden Knights 1

Toronto — Frederik Andersen made 36 saves to lift Toronto over Vegas. Connor Brown, Mitch Marner and Nazem Kadri scored for Toronto (10-5-0). Brown also had an assist.

Lightning 5, Oilers 2

Tampa, Fla. — Nikita Kucherov had two goals and an assist, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves and Tampa Bay beat Edmonton.

Red Wings 3, Canucks 2 (so)

Detroit — Dylan Larkin scored the only goal in a shootout to give Detroit a comeback win over Vancouver.

Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist scored in regulation for Detroit, which has won four of five. Jimmy Howard stopped 40 shots before denying Elias Pettersson, Nikolay Goldobin and Bo Horvat in the tiebreaker.