Jeremy Colliton Fired by Blackhawks; Derek King to Serve as Interim Head Coach

Adam WellsNovember 6, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton in the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

After a 1-9-2 start to the season, Jeremy Colliton has been fired as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. 

The team announced Colliton's dismissal Saturday, along with assistant coaches Tomas Mitell and Sheldon Brookbank. 

Derek King will serve as interim head coach. 

Colliton had expressed frustration with the team's performance this season.

“It’s just another hard lesson, but I would like us to stop learning hard lessons and respond with a change in how we think about the game,” he told reporters after Wednesday's loss to the Carolina Hurricanes that saw the Blackhawks blow a 3-1 lead.

Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones did express support for Colliton after a 6-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 24. 

"100 percent the team has faith in Jeremy," Jones said. "I’ve been here a short time, but his message has been great for us. What it really comes down to, there’s only so much a coach can do. He's not going to lace them up for you.

The final straw came Friday night when Chicago lost 5-1 to the Winnipeg Jets. The franchise is in the midst of its worst start since the 1999-2000 season when it was 0-4-4 after eight games. 

The Blackhawks turned things around that season to finish with a respectable 33-37-10-2 record. 

Colliton was in his fourth season as Chicago's head coach. The 36-year-old replaced Joel Quenneville early in the 2018-19 season. He went 87-92-26 with one playoff appearance for the Blackhawks. 

King has been head coach for the Rockford IceHogs of the United Hockey League since April 2019. He will make his debut for the Blackhawks on Sunday night when they host the Nashville Predators at 7 p.m. ET.