Marc Crawford joined the Blackhawks as an assistant coach this week, completing the team's coaching staff for the upcoming 2019-20 season. With 18 years of NHL coaching experience and a Stanley Cup as head coach of the Avalanche in 1996, Crawford adds experience to Jeremy Colliton's staff, joining assistants Sheldon Brookbank and Tomas Mitell.
Crawford spoke with reporters to discuss his relationship with Colliton, excitement about the Blackhawks roster and the advice he received from former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville.
1. Catching up with Colliton
With his son Dylan working as an Assistant Video Coach with the Blackhawks, Crawford said he watched plenty of Blackhawks games this season. But meeting Colliton for the first time left an impression on the 18-year NHL veteran.
"My son gave me a lot of insight into Jeremy and I know when we met I was totally impressed by his presence. I really believe that's a big thing that happens with coaches; their presence is what you notice first," Crawford said. "He exudes confidence."
2. Mentoring Young Talent
Crawford finished the 2018-19 season as the interim head coach in Ottawa, coaching one of the youngest rosters in the league, including the fourth pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, Brady Tkachuk.
With the Blackhawks holding the third pick in 2019 and a roster full of young talent, Crawford said he is excited to get to work in Chicago.
"To have people like DeBrincat and all the other good young players that they've got in their system, it's exciting to be able to work with those types of people," he said. "I have always enjoyed that process of young players becoming great players in the National Hockey League."
Crawford mentioned his excitement about what a top prospect could mean for the Blackhawks.
"We saw this past year in Ottawa how the number four pick, Brady Tkachuk, came in and by the end of the year he was our best player," Crawford said. "I've got a number of people who coached teams that have these top guys, so I know I can get a firsthand preview."
3. Advice from Q
Former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville served as an assistant on Crawford's Stanley Cup-winning staff in Colorado and spoke with Crawford over the summer.
"Joel and I are good friends. I've talked to Joel on a regular basis over the last basically 25 years," Crawford said. "Joel speaks very, very fondly of the Chicago Blackhawks and I understand why. I see the quality in the organization, I see the quality of the management. He didn't have to do a lot of prodding for me."
Crawford said he has coached at Chicago Stadium and the United Center during his NHL career and is looking forward to joining the Blackhawks.
"It's my first opportunity to work for an Original Six franchise," Crawford said. "It's a wonderful experience when the anthem starts to roar... I'm excited to hear that from the Blackhawks bench."