Just one day after firing Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Kitchen, GM Stan Bowman made another move by firing Ted Dent, head coach of the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate in Rockford.
Dent had been at the helm in Rockford for the past six seasons, and was an assistant for many years prior to that. The case can be made that the position had become kind of stale and that despite Dent’s good character a change needed to be made to shake things up.
Some excellent reporting by Christopher Hine and Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune revealed that Dent had been at odds with the Hawks front office during this season. After the big club traded away a few of Rockford’s top scorers, Dent tweeted out (never a good idea) an apology to the fans for losing two top players. After Mark McNeill was traded to Dallas for Johnny Oduya, Dent made comments about it being tough to compete due to Chicago gutting the team. And then the kicker, Dent allegedly sent a bunch of text messages to players telling them of they had any lineup complaints to take them directly to the top to Stan Bowman. When you’re a minor league coach you can’t get mad when the big club moves players up or around, that’s literally their job.
It’s easy to see why a lot of that wouldn’t sit well with the Hawks brass. The result is that Dent found himself in the crosshairs kf this major overhaul expected after the Hawks brutal exit.
The case can be made that this is another statement firing made by the Hawks. Dent was reportedly a well-liked coach, and compiled a 221-179-33-21 record in his six seasons. The Hogs regressed in 2017, finishing with a 25-39-9-3 record and missing the playoffs.
Stan made it clear that he wants to organization to be very competitive in the American League. It’s the training ground for the Hawks stars of tomorrow where they can grow and make mistakes. Dent had seemingly done a pretty good job of facilitating players through the organization. But it just seemed like it was time for a fresh change in that spot for the Hawks, and I’m sure that the alleged issues from the past year didn’t help Dent’s case either.