Colliton promoted to Blackhawks; King to lead IceHogs

Photo: Todd Reicher

The Chicago Blackhawks have relieved Joel Quenneville of his coaching duties and have named Jeremy Colliton the 38th head coach in franchise history.

In addition, the Blackhawks have named Barry Smith an assistant coach on Colliton’s staff. The Blackhawks have also parted ways with assistant coaches Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson. The rest of the Blackhawks coaching staff will remain with the team.

Colliton, 33, had been the youngest active head coach in the American Hockey League and becomes the youngest head coach currently in the NHL. Colliton was in his second season with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, guiding them to a record of 6-3-1-2 thus far in 2018-19. Last year, Colliton led the IceHogs to a record of 40-28-4-4 and the franchise’s first-ever trip to the Western Conference Finals following series sweeps of Chicago and Manitoba.

Prior to joining the Blackhawks organization, Colliton spent four seasons as the head coach of Mora IK in Sweden (HockeyAllsvenskan). A native of Blackie, Alberta, Colliton guided his team to a league-best 35-13-4 record during the 2016-17 season. Following the regular season, he led Mora IK to promotion to the Swedish Hockey League for the 2017-18 season after defeating Leksands IF in six games (4-2) of the best-of-seven series. Colliton joined the coaching ranks with Mora IK in an interim head coaching role during the 2013-14 season before taking over full-time the following season. In four seasons with Colliton behind the bench, Mora IK posted a 98-57-18 record.

Colliton had an eight-year professional playing career primarily in the National Hockey League and AHL. He appeared in 57 NHL games across five seasons (2005-09, 2010-11) with the New York Islanders, notching three goals and three assists. He was originally drafted by the Islanders in the second round (58th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft.

Colliton also spent parts of six seasons (2005-09, 2010-12) in the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, recording 203 points (77 goals, 126 assists) in 326 games. He is the Sound Tigers’ franchise leader in assists and points.

The Blackhawks have also announce that Derek King will serve as interim head coach of the IceHogs. Sheldon Brookbank will remain as assistant coach.

King, 51, is in his third season with the Blackhawks organization and ninth as an AHL assistant/associate coach, having served with the Toronto Marlies from 2009-15.

With the Marlies, he helped the team win the Western Conference championship in 2012 and capture three regular-season North Division titles (2012, 2013, 2014).

The Hamilton, Ont., native had a 14-year National Hockey League playing career that began with the New York Islanders during the 1986-87 season. After 11 seasons with the Islanders, King also played with the Hartford Whalers, Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues.

In the AHL, King played for the Springfield Indians (1987-90) and Grand Rapids Griffins (2002-04).