Blackhawks fire Yawney, name Savard coach

The coaches' revolving door at the United Center keeps spinning.

Someone needed to pay for the Chicago Blackhawks' lackluster play, and on Monday, Trent Yawney was fired to end a miserable one-plus seasons in his first NHL stint behind the bench.

Make no mistake. This was more a mercy killing than anything else.

Chicago lost four of five on its annual Circus Trip, and has managed one goal in each of the last three games.

"We decided last night we needed to do this," general manager Dale Tallon told The Canadian Press. "We just felt we wanted to go in a different direction. We needed to change things around a little bit here. We've been flat. We've only won three games in our last 15."

Keeping in the Wirtzian tradition of bringing back former players as coaches regardless of experience -- or success, apparently -- Denis Savard was named new head coach.

Since a first-place finish in the old Norris Division under Darryl Sutter in 1993, Chicago has had eight coaches -- Craig Hartsburg, Dirk Graham, Lorne Molleken, Bob Pulford, Alpo Suhonen, Brian Sutter, Yawney and, now Savard.

To be fair, the Blackhawks this season have been ravaged by injuries. But Yawney, who led Chicago's AHL affiliate in Norfolk, Va., to five straight playoff appearances before joining the big show, won just 33 of 103 games with the Blackhawks.

Savard, who scored 473 goals in a 17-year Hall of Fame career with Chicago, Montreal and Tampa Bay immediately will be tested: his first game will be Wednesday against Dallas.

Yawney is the third coach to get the ax this season, joining Philadelphia's Ken Hitchcock and Columbus' Gerard Gallant. Hitchcock was hired earlier this month by the Blue Jackets.

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