The Chicago Blackhawks have made a change behind the bench, firing head coach Jeremy Colliton along with assistants Sheldon Brookbank and Tomas Mitell.
Derek King, who had previously been the head coach of the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate in Rockford, will take over as interim head coach.
This move seems like a long time coming. The Blackhawks are second-last in the entire NHL this season, sitting with a putrid 1-9-2 record and a league-worst 47 goals allowed through 12 games. For a team that was thought to contend this year, this is a disaster.
Not much has gone right for the Blackhawks on the ice in 2021-22.
Key addition Marc-Andre Fleury has a .881 save percentage through eight starts thus far while his backup, Kevin Lankinen, boasts a similarly terrible .882. Seth Jones looks miscast as a number one defender the year BEFORE his eight-year extension that will pay him $9.5 million per year kicks in. Jonathan Toews has yet to find the back of the net. And, aside from Patrick Kane, the entire offense has performed below expectations.
And yet, when looking at the Blackhawks' numbers across the board, things aren't as dire as they seem.
Their penalty kill ranks fifth-best in the league at 87.5% while their power play rests in the middle of the pack at 14th in the NHL at a 22.7% success rate. Both of those stats are well above the league average, and hint at better results bubbling under the surface.
What management clearly believes, however, is that Colliton was not the person to coax those results out of them. Therefore, he was handed his walking papers.
With King carrying the interim tag, it's likely that the Blackhawks will begin the search for a new coach soon.