The Chicago Blackhawks today named Trent Yawney the 35th head coach in the team’s history.
“I’m excited about Trent accepting our offer to take over as the new head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks,” said Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon. “This is another step in the right direction and in moving forward to where we want to go. Trent is innovative, creative, and will bring a fresh approach to the Blackhawks. I feel that a fresh look is vital to the growth of our organization.”
Yawney, 39, has served as the head coach of the Blackhawks’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, for the last five seasons. Under Yawney’s guidance, Norfolk has posted a 189-144-42-25 regular-season record, winning back-to-back division titles in 2001-02 and 2002-03. The Admirals have made five consecutive Calder Cup Playoff appearances while seeing over 50 players advance to the Blackhawks during that span. Such players as Tyler Arnason, Mark Bell, Kyle Calder, Craig Anderson, Michael Leighton and Steve McCarthy have developed under Yawney’s leadership.
Yawney was honored by The Hockey News as their Minor Pro Coach of the Year for the 2003-04 season, citing his ability to “work wonders.” The only coach in the AHL to work without an assistant coach, he guided a squad full of rookies which was also depleted by injuries and NHL call-ups to a post-season appearance.
Yawney’s teams continued to excel on the ice. The 2004-05 season saw the Admirals established a new franchise record for wins (43) as well as points (93) in a season during one of the most competitive years in AHL history on the ice.
A defenseman in his playing days, Yawney was originally drafted by the Blackhawks in the third round, 45th overall, in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He served as captain of Team Canada at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, then embarked on a 12-year NHL career, playing in 593 regular-season games with Chicago, Calgary and St. Louis.
A native of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, Trent and his wife, Charlane, have two children; a daughter, Ashley and a son, Conor.