Four games into the season and with the Chicago Black Hawks recording their first win of the season on Tuesday night, Hawks GM Dale Tallon lowered the boom on head coach Denis Savard. .
A move that seems a tad early and more indicative of moves further along the chain of command in Chicago.
The firing seemed to catch Savard by surprise, only Tuesday he had said that he believed the team was coming together after their sputtering start and felt that Tuesday's game was indicative of better times ahead.
Perhaps so, but if they come to pass, they will be under the watchful eye of Joel Quenneville who was moved into the coaching position on Wednesday as the Hawks made their move.
Chicago observers see the hand of Scotty Bowman in the change, suggesting that Bowman felt more comfortable with Quenneville, who he brought into the organization as a scout when he joined the Hawks as a consultant in the off season.
Quenneville was the long time coach of the Avalanche until last year and Bowman (and now by requirement of office Tallon) no doubt feels that his experience is what is needed to bring the young and improving Hawks up a few levels in NHL competition.
The coaching change has become the talk of Chicago, with both the Cubs and White Sox bowing out of the playoffs early and the Bears running middle of the pack, hockey is starting to grab a growing share of the sports pages these days.
The fact that the sports writers even noticed the change is a good thing for the Hawks (not so much for Savard) in a strange little way, though showing signs of panic four games into the season leaves many questions for the writers to take a look at and no doubt try and dig out more information on.
For the most part they were on the side of Savard as he makes his exit from Chitown, many seeing the increasing control of the team by the consultant, where past loyalties holds little sway and emotional attachment will be of no concern it seems.
From the Chicago headlines:
Sun Times-- After 4, Savard shown door
Sun Times-- A one-way commitment
Sun Times-- Timing odd, but McDonough had enough
Sun Times-- An abrupt change of heart
Sun Times-- Well-tested Quenneville takes on another challenge
Sun Times-- I'll miss Savvy, but I wasn't surprised
Tribune-- Tallon exists at Bowman's pleasure. And he's hard to please
Tribune-- Tallon loses this game of 'Survivor' to Bowman
Tribune-- I know, it's code for "what Scotty wants"
Tribune-- Hawks take the penalty, ice Savard
Tribune-- Blackhawks fire head coach Denis Savard
Tribune-- Savard firing 'difficult' one for Kane
Montreal Gazette-- Savard proud of work done with Hawks
Globe and Mail-- Savard pays price for slow start
Associated Press-- Savard's dismissal jolts Blackhawks