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REPORT: Blackhawks Head Coach Jeremy Colliton Is NOT On The Hot Seat After Three Games

Not a shock that Colliton isn't on the hot seat. 1) it's only three games into the season. 2) Colliton just got an extension. 3) He's Stan's boy. 4) See #3 and related it to #2. 

It is obviously a bit jarring that Servelli found the need to dig around and ask if Colliton was in trouble this early into the season. That should tell you something. I also found it odd that Kane and Toews volunteered positive comments about Colliton this week after the 0-3 start to the season. Anyone who watched the first three games against teams that were either not at full strength or not a very good roster or both and saw the same bad habits, the same poor dzone communication, and the same one-and-done offense that we've seen for 3+ years now would probably expect Colliton's seat to be a little warm. Especially after the team went out and spent big money/assets on Jones, McCabe, Johnson, and Fleury. If the Blackhawks were going to finish out of the playoffs I would think that ownership would rather NOT spend the extra $25M this year to do so. I could be wrong about that though. Maybe Danny and new President Jamie don't care about that piece. I am just speculating. 

I do think we are in a situation where the clock should be ticking because there are only so many levers to pull to get a team going. Everyone knows that, including Stan. I was told that Stan and company were VERY close to firing Colliton back in 2019. Take it with a salt lick, but that is what I was told. John McDonough was still in charge back then. He backed Stan with firing Joel. "I believe in Stan. I believe in this roster"--John McDonough. Remember that? The following summer Stan tried to put together a playoff team. People seem to forget that. I don't though. He traded for de Haan and Olli Maata to bolster the blueline. He traded for Nylander as a reclamation project partly because they needed bodies in the top 6 and Jeremy had given up on Jokiharju and Stan told us how much he loved the depth on defense in the system with Boqvist, Mitchell, Beaudin, among others (none of those three are currently on the Blackhawks). He traded for Andrew Shaw. He signed Robin Lehner to pair with Corey Crawford. He DIDN'T trade Gustafsson when his value was never going to be higher even though he had three offensive defensemen prospects in the pipeline that he loved. Those are not moves you make if you're rebuilding. 

They expected to be a competitive team with that group. When the team was drowning at the start of the season with a 4-10 record heading into a game against Vancouver on 11/7/19. They won that game, looked great doing so, Jeremy had tweaked things to make it easier to break out of the dzone and the Hawks played very well for a 6 game stretch. Again, grain of salt, but I was told back then that the Vancouver game and subsequent stretch saved his job. Maybe it did. Maybe it didn't. Just what I was told.

Obviously the year was very up and down and the Hawks were sellers at the deadline. During the Covid break Danny Wirtz rightfully fired John McDonough. He shadowed the Blackhawks in the bubble and saw them win a series against a VERY flawed Edmonton team. Stan, Al, and Jeremy got to keep their jobs. Pete Hassen and Norm MacIver, two guys that were definitely NOT John guys like Stan and Al were fired. Doesn't make much sense to me, but I am just a blogger. 

Anyways, I am VERY interested to see how this will play out if things continue to go as badly as they did the first three games. The Blackhawks fired Savard after 4 games. They fired Joel Quenneville after 13 games even though he had a .500 record with a brutal roster and three Cups to his name. Only in Congress and the Blackhawks can you be horrendous at your job for years and still remain employed. 

We talked about some of this Redline Radio today. Hopefully things get turned around quickly. I want the team to be good. I want to be wrong about Stan and Jeremy. I've always said that. Full Ep below