Blackhawks fire coach Joel Quenneville and assistant coaches

In a somewhat stunning move, the Blackhawks fired coach Joel Quenneville Tuesday morning, along with his assistant coaches Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson.

Quenneville will be replaced by Jeremy Colliton, and Barry Smith has been named an assistant coach on Colliton’s staff.

General manager Stan Bowman said the decision to part with their second-winningest coach in franchise history was “very difficult.”

“I believe it is in the best interests of the Blackhawks organization,” Bowman said in a statement. “We need to maximize each and every opportunity with our playoff goals in mind and create continued growth and development throughout our roster at the same time.”

The coaching staff overhaul marks the start of a rebuild.

“As Chicago Blackhawks fans have seen over the last decade, this organization no longer shies away from making tough decisions or ones based on emotion,” chairman Rocky Wirtz said in a statement. “Those days are long behind us.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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