The Blackhawks announced this morning that Joel Quenneville had been relieved of his duties and Jeremy Colliton has been named the 38th head coach in franchise history.
For the Blackhawks players, it was the first time they have experienced practice under different leadership. Here is what some of the players had to say after the skate about Quenneville, the change and Colliton.
We'll have a full feature story on the newest head coach and more coverage of the press conference later today on chicagoblackhawks.com.
"You take responsibility for it. You always wonder and you're always looking for solutions when things aren't going the way you want them too, the way they are right now. If that's the decision that's been made, you have to move on but you wish you could have done something else with the group that you had. That includes the coaching staff as well."
"It is different, considering what we're used to but from what I hear and what I've seen so far, Jeremy Colliton brings a lot of youthful energy to the game and he's got a lot of experience on the ice as well. I think he understands how to get through to guys and get through to each player and how to get the best from them. I've heard nothing but good things from the guys that played for him in Rockford last year. Looking forward to what he can bring to our team here."
"I think there are a lot of different emotions that you can go through when something like that happens. I think it is a tough day for everyone."
"Obviously, we had a good start to the season and then just kind of the last five games we've had a little bit of a hiccup there. I think if you look at those five games you can think of things here or there we could have done better and this wouldn't have happened. That's the way it goes. We were 0-4-1 in that stretch and they felt a move needed to be made."
"I was pretty surprised this morning. We spent a lot of time here with Joel as the coach. The team has had three championships, obviously. You never want to see a guy leave, including the coaches. We've been through so much together. I think for me, personally, he's had a ton of confidence in me from the start and it's hard to hear that news. In this business, those things happen sometimes. It seems like coaches are maybe the first ones to go most of the time, but it's just hard to see him go."
"He means the world to me. I mean, 10 years, three Stanley Cups. What was I, 23 or 24 when he came here? He taught me a lot as a young man and player. The little things he always harped on I'll remember for the rest of my life I'm sure. But just the way he was with us, how he treated us professionally and as individuals, he was a guy who always liked to have some fun and what not but gave us our space and allowed us to be players. It was just a tough day today and I'll cherish the days and memories and all the stuff we had."
"100 percent. It doesn't just fall on the coach, it falls on the players and the whole organization. I think as players and you go down the line. I think we're just as much at fault and we've got to take responsibility and be better as players."
"I was shocked this morning. I know how much he's meant to this organization, winning championships with the older guys and really establishing a winning culture here. I know all the younger guys learned a ton from him. He gave us an opportunity to get our foot into this league. For me, he gave me an opportunity to come here, play regular season games, play in the playoffs, and for two straight training camps Joel showed that initial faith in me for me to be here. What I've learned from him over the last couple years I will carry with me."
"I just remember have a conversation with him before my first NHL game and him telling me I'd be great. I started my career on a line with Toews and I ended up playing the last 10 or 11 games and then playing in the playoffs. And for me to get that opportunity in the spring before my first NHL training camp was invaluable."
"[Colliton] understands how to manage the team. He's not that far removed from the game himself. I think he uses that to his advantage and I think his demeanor overall will definitely help us going forward. We're all excited to get going on Thursday. I think you could tell at practice that guys were pretty motivated to get this thing turned around."
"Definitely surprised. I didn't expect that really, but I think the blame isn't on one guy it's on all of us in here. Obviously, we haven't played well over the last little stretch here and we're looking to turn it around. Nobody was expecting it but we've got to move forward."
"I loved [Colliton] when I was in Rockford. He was really good for me and a lot of the young guys down there. I always thought that he'd get his chance one day in the NHL, whether it be in a few years or whatever. I wasn't expecting right away, but I'm very happy for him and I'm excited for him to work with us and get going here."
"I was pretty shocked. I know things haven't been going our way, but I didn't know if it would happen this early or whatever. I think shocked is definitely the word I would use."
"We want to play better, number one. I think it's definitely a wake-up call. We have to be better. It'd definitely not his fault. He's just taking the heat I think. It's on all the players and the way we've been performing and competing lately. I think it's definitely on us."
"I had that rookie tournament with him. I like him. He's a really good guy. I talked to him a few times and I think he knows what he's talking about. Good to have him here and we'll see what we can do with him."