first_imgThe Blackhawks’ two generational stars – Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane — were teenagers each in their second NHL season. The team was playing in front of miniscule crowds in a gigantic building, and there was no buzz surrounding the Windy City’s NHL team.With plenty of help from Toews and Kane, Quenneville helped breathe life into one of the NHL’s storied clubs and ushered in arguably the most successful period in the franchise’s history, winning three Stanley Cup championships as Chicago’s head coach.MORE: Spanning the career of 2018 Hockey Hall of inductee Martin BrodeurBut in life (and in hockey), things change. That time arrived for the Blackhawks.You know by now that Quenneville is out after 11 seasons in Chicago,the league’s longest-tenured coach at the time of his dismissal. His firing was hardly a surprise – rumors dated back to last season — but to see a coach of his stature shown the door is always an eyebrow-raiser.The Blackhawks are now led by 33-year-old Jeremy Colliton, promoted to full-time head coach status after one season (not including the start of 2018-19) coaching AHL Rockford. Chicago faces a steep climb to get back into the Stanley Cup playoffs, but there’s no doubt that Blackhawks management made this move with one thing in mind: a fresh start.MORE: 2019 NHL Draft top 31 — Can Jack Hughes hold on to the No. 1 ranking?And while it’s a new chapter for the Blackhawks, it’s also a new day for Quenneville. At 60 years old, he’s got plenty of coaching left in him and he can be selective. Chicago owes him a $6 million annual salary for this season and next. You have to wonder how many teams, dissatisfied or underwhelmed with their start, already considered placing a call to gauge his interest.Getting Late Early in JerseyThe New Jersey Devils were the Metropolitan Division’s surprise in 2017-18.After a hot start that eventually cooled a bit, they made the playoffs as a wild card a year ago, only to draw the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening period. It was a quick exit. But there was optimism heading into this season for the Devils, who wanted to take that next step and push the division’s best.So far, it has been the opposite.MORE: “I hope they remember the game got bigger, that it got stronger” says 2018 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Gary BettmanThe Devils’ 5-2 loss in Winnipeg on Sunday was their third in a row, and sixth in the last seven games. They are 6-8-1 and in real danger of falling too far off the pace in the division, currently seven points back of first-place Columbus with a big tilt coming up Tuesday night with the equally-hungry Penguins.To make matters worse for the Devils: Nico Hischier left Sunday’s game with an upper body injury.Here’s Taylor Hall on the Devils’ struggles (via “It just seems like every time we do make a mistake or there’s a breakdown…it just ends up in the back of our net.”That’s a common mantra for a losing team.Tough Times in AnaheimIt’s hard to get a read on the Anaheim Ducks.They are one of those teams that most of us generally assume will be competitive – but it’s hardly been that way early in 2018-19. Would the Ducks’ ownership be willing to provide an expensive jolt to a team that’s won only two of its last 10 games by trying to hire Quenneville?  Each Monday during the NHL season, Rob Mixer takes a look at the biggest storylines from the hockey week that was.A New Era in the Windy CityWhen Joel Quenneville replaced Denis Savard behind the Chicago Blackhawks’ bench, the Winnipeg Jets were still the Atlanta Thrashers. The NHL was a much different place than it is today. Randy Carlyle is in his second tour of duty with the Ducks, and this time around has been largely productive. He was fired in November 2011 after six seasons and a Stanley Cup title (2007), replaced by Bruce Boudreau, who was fired after the 2015-16 season and replaced by – you guessed it – Carlyle. The Ducks won 46 games and advanced to the Western Conference Final in 2016-17, then bowed out in the opening round last year after a 44-win regular season…and it’s been a tough start to 2018-19.Yes, Anaheim is missing captain Ryan Getzlaf and former MVP Corey Perry. That’s a brutal 1-2.But they have a respectable group of forwards and a talented defense that should be able to compete. And with John Gibson in goal, the Ducks have a chance every night he plays. They’re by no means out of it, but at 7-8-3 it’s fair to question whether a change is needed before it’s too late.last_img