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Blackhawks changes begin with firing of assistant Mike Haviland

May 8, 2012, 7:24 PM EDT

havilandgetty Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks had an up-and-down 2011-12 season, yet their power play was mostly down. It looks like that flaw won’t cost head coach Joel Quenneville’s job, but assistant Mike Haviland is out of a top after four years as a helper.

(Quenneville is currently holding an informative press conference that we’ll break down pretty soon.)

Haviland was primarily in charge of the power play for some time before making way to Mike Kitchen.’s Chris Boden points out that unit started off in the bottom of the league with Haviland, received a nice boost when Kitchen took it over and then flat-lined again. Not taking advantage of the man advantage reared its ugly head on the largest scale in Chicago’s six-game series defeat at the hands of the surging Phoenix Coyotes.

Here’s your totally random question to chew on for a moment, then: would the Blackhawks’ power play have struggled so much if Brian Campbell wasn’t traded? Keeping his hefty cap hit on the docket would have been a challenge in itself, but one cannot help but wonder if it’s something that Haviland (and Kitchen too, to some extent*) might ponder as he searches for his next coaching gig.

* – Kitchen probably will keep his job, so he’ll lose less sleep.

  1. barkar942 - May 8, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    So where does he end up as a head coach? Vancouver? Columbus? Calgary? (I don’t believe the Jersey Boy speaks Francais, so Montreal is probably out).
    I think there is more to this than the lack of production on the power play. He should have no problem becoming a head coach elsewhere. He has won at the ECHL level and as an assistant at the NHL level.

  2. paledevil - May 8, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    To the old coach.Good luck see you around! To the new coach welcome back. Your dreams were you ticket out

    • johnguelff - May 8, 2012 at 8:30 PM

      welcome back, welcome back, wel-come baaaack :)

    • tarotsujimoto74 - May 8, 2012 at 9:01 PM

      welcome back

  3. bcisleman - May 8, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    CHI was 26th on the PP this year w/o Campbell and 4th last year with him. Mike Haviland, who has done nothing but win at every level he has coached, is being made a SCAPEGOAT!!!

    • bcjim - May 9, 2012 at 8:02 AM

      All bottlenecks are at the top! And JQ wasn’t going to fire himself.

      Truly classless was the team tweet about it….”hey we fired this guy!” #C-L-A-S-S-L-E-S-S

  4. balewsquare - May 9, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Campbell was RARELY on Chicago’s top PP unit. He sometimes didn’t even use him on the second unit. Not saying he’s not talented, but the Hawks’ coaching staff didn’t have him high on the totem pole. That wasn’t the difference. They love Sharp back there, Seabrook too. Keith before he started to think opposition shin pads were made of twine, even Bolland, Hjalmarsson, and Leddy. He wasn’t THAT big of a PP role for the Hawks.

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