NHL-Blackhawks fire head coach, assistants citing ‘necessary changes’

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FILE PHOTO: NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks
FILE PHOTO: Oct 21, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton looks on from the bench during the first period of a NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

November 6, 2021

(Reuters) – The Chicago Blackhawks fired head coach Jeremy Colliton and assistant coaches Tomas Mitell and Sheldon Brookbank on Saturday, citing the need for “necessary changes” within the National Hockey League (NHL) team.

The franchise has the second-worst record in the Western Conference with one win and nine losses, and has been engulfed by a sexual abuse scandal that led to the firing of Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman.

A spokeswoman for the team said that the firings on Saturday were unrelated to the misconduct scandal.

“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,” CEO Danny Wirtz said in a written statement.

“As we look to move forward, we know we must earn back the trust of our fans.”

Last month, an independent report detailed a lack of action by the team’s senior management after they were made aware of allegations by player Kyle Beach that former video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him in 2010.

Derek King, the head coach of the Rockford IceHogs, was named interim head coach.

“Our on-ice goal remains the same: to build an elite system of hockey – and we have not delivered on that,” Interim General Manager Kyle Davidson said in a written statement. “The fact is our play and competitiveness must improve.”

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Toby Davis)

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