Chicago Blackhawks Fire Denis Savard, Hire Joel Quenneville as New Coach

Michael WagnerSenior Analyst IOctober 16, 2008

Everyday that I wake up and turn on my computer I do my daily internet routine—check my Facebook, then my mail, then make it to all the sports websites (ESPN, TSN...etc.).

When I got to ESPN, I noticed the Chicago Blackhawks were in the news, and I was shocked—why would ESPN have news about the Chicago Blackhawks?

I then found out that the Chicago Blackhawks have fired coach Denis Savard, and replaced him with Joel Quenneville.

From the Chicago Blackhawks Website:

“This was an extremely hard day for this organization and for me personally,” Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon said. “Denis is forever a part of our organization. We made a tough decision that we strongly feel is the right one as we continue to evaluate our team and create a championship caliber organization that can sustain success. Joel brings us a wealth of experience and a winning track record that will have an immediate and lasting impact.”

After the initial shock of seeing that Savard was fired after only four games into the regulars season, I realized this was the right move for the team.

The reason why this was the right move, was because the Chicago Blackhawks will now have solid lines and a real system—two things Coach Savard did not implement. Savard liked to juggle lines throughout games, and it seemed as though there was no cohesion.  It is not good for a young team if they are playing with different linemates every period.

Another reason the 'Hawks let Savard go was the lack of an offensive system, and specifically a poor power play. From shift to shift, Savard would change the way he set up and executed in the offensive zone, which was not helping the young players in the lineup. In the first three games, the 'Hawks looked confused on the ice, with all the different schemes and offensive and defensive strategies. 

Joel Quenneville brings a system, a winning track record, and playoff experience—all things that Denis Savard did not have. Of course, coaching the Blackhawks was Savard's first head coaching job—but the 'Hawks are looking to win now.  Savard, in my opinion, was not the right guy for the job.

I do not want it to sound like I hate Denis Savard, but if the 'Hawks are committed to winning right now, then some sort of change needed to be made.  As great of a player as Denis Savard was, he was not the right man for this job.

Denis, you will be missed, and I know many 'Hawks fans are upset to see you go. You are one of the greatest men in Chicago Blackhawks history, and you did not deserve to be treated this way.

But in the end, it's a business.

Official Press Conference at 4:30 pm (Central Time), link to come.