While some of us we’re still sleeping on Tuesday morning, the Chicago Blackhawks signed head coach Jeremy Colliton to a two-year contract extension through the 2022-23 season. Colliton was entering the final year of his three-year contract with the Blackhawks this season.
OFFICIAL: We're excited to announce a two-year contract extension for Head Coach Jeremy Colliton.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 12, 2021
Colliton, who turns 36 tomorrow (happy birthday indeed), has been with the organization since the 2017-18 season when he took over as head coach of the AHL Rockford IceHogs. He led that IceHogs team to the AHL Western Conference Finals in 2018, before taking over the Blackhawks from Joel Quenneville a month into the 2018-19 season. Colliton holds a 62-58-17 record as head coach of the Blackhawks.
From general manager Stan Bowman:
“Jeremy has shown an innate ability to develop young talent throughout his two seasons as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. This, coupled with his vast knowledge of the game, exceptional communication skills and determination to win, makes us extremely confident Jeremy has what it takes to lead our team back to an elite level as we continue to build a roster that can compete year in and year out.”
The Blackhawks have made it very clear that Colliton is their man for the future. He was handed the keys to a deteriorating Blackhawks team and has yet to coach them in a full 82-game season. He won’t get that opportunity until the 2021-22 season, we hope. Perhaps this move is a “good faith” deal from Bowman, not only because he made the biggest push for Colliton within the organization, but because he also understood that he was given a very raw deal when he took over as head coach. Now, Bowman and Colliton have contracts ending at the same time, along with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith. Strap in for the Summer of 2023.
Chicago is heading into this season, with their hand forced, playing a lot of new and young players with the NHL squad. This is a year focused on development, rather than trying to win a Stanley Cup. Clearly the Blackhawks believe Colliton is the man for that development job.