On the day Jeremy Colliton was hired as head coach of the Blackhawks, he received hundreds of text messages and phone calls. One text stood out from the others.

It came from Joel Quenneville.

Hours after being fired, Quenneville took time to send his successor congratulations and wish him luck in his new position.

“It means a lot,” Colliton said. “He’s a Hall of Fame coach and now I’m succeeding him. He took the time to send me a text message. He’s a great man.”

Colliton, 33, is certainly aware of the enormous shoes he has to fill. Quenneville is not only the second-winningest coach in Hawks history, he’s the second-winningest coach in NHL history with three Stanley Cups on his resume.

But if Colliton was nervous on the morning of his first game as head coach of the Hawks, he didn’t look it.

“I was probably more nervous as a player,” Colliton said. “I’m just excited. We have a really good team, good players. I want to watch them work now.”


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