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USATSI

The Chicago Blackhawks fired head coach Jeremy Colliton after a pitiful start to the team’s season, which has seen the Blackhawks go 1-9-2. Collition and assistant coaches Sheldon Brookbank and Tomas Mitell, were fired Saturday following a 5-1 loss Friday to the Winnipeg Jets.

Under Colliton this season, the Blackhawks had allowed a league-high 47 goals and are the second-worst team in the league, outpacing only the winless Arizona Coyotes. Rockford IceHogs coach Derek King has been named Blackhawks interim head coach.

“It has been an extremely difficult couple of weeks for our organization, and we have had to come to terms with a number of necessary changes,” read a statement by Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz. “As we look to move forward, we know we must earn back the trust of our fans, and we are grateful for the support of our entire community as we work to do just that.

“On the ice, Interim General Manager Kyle Davidson has our full confidence and autonomy to make hockey decisions, and we support him on this coaching change. We appreciate all that Jeremy has brought to the Blackhawks, and we look forward to working with Derek as our interim head coach while we work to rebuild our permanent hockey operations leadership.”

Colliton, a former star center for the New York Islanders, was promoted to Blackhawks head coach on Nov. 8, 2018 after the midseason firing of Joel Quenneville. Over the course of his first three seasons, Colliton had led the Blackhawks to an 86-83-24 record in 193 games with one playoff appearance, a first-round loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in 2019-20. Under Colliton, the Blackhawks had never finished better than sixth in the Central Division.

Derek King’s first game as Blackhawks head coach will come Sunday when the team hosts the Nashville Predators.