Chicago Blackhawks fire coach Joel Quenneville

Nov. 6 (UPI) — The Chicago Blackhawks have fired head coach Joel Quenneville.

Chicago announced the coaching change on Tuesday. Jeremy Colliton has been named the 38th coach in franchise history, replacing Quenneville. The Blackhawks also named Barry Smith an assistant coach and parted ways with assistant coaches Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson. Chicago kept the remainder of its coaching staff.

“The Chicago Blackhawks front office has made a decision to release Joel Quenneville from his head coaching duties, doing so with my full support,” Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said in a news release.

“As Chicago Blackhawks fans have seen over the last decade, this organization no longer shies away from making tough decisions or ones based on emotion. Those days are long behind us. Of course, Joel’s was difficult, as it should have been. During his tenure as head coach to the Chicago Blackhawks, Joel brought the city of Chicago and our fans three Stanley Cups and an incredible era of hockey.”

The Blackhawks posted a 452-249 record with 96 shootout/overtime losses during Quenneville’s 11-year tenure. They are 6-6 this season with three shootout/overtime losses.

Quenneville was named Blackhawks coach in 2008. He owns the best playoff record in franchise history, with a 76-52 mark that includes three Stanley Cups. The Blackhawks made the playoffs in nine of his previous 10 seasons.

He is the second-winningest coach in NHL history. Quenneville is 890-532-214 overall while coaching the Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues.

“This was an extremely difficult decision, given our respect for Joel and all that he has brought to the Chicago Blackhawks organization the last 10 years,” Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough said. “His leadership during three Stanley Cup championships speaks for itself and there is no way to adequately express what he has meant to this organization. He will always be a significant member of the Blackhawks family. We have a deep appreciation for how he helped establish our standard and the Blackhawks culture and certainly wish he, Kevin and Ulf only the best in their future.”

Dineen joined the Blackhawks coaching staff before the 2014 season. The Blackhawks battle the Carolina Hurricanes at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at the United Center in Chicago.

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