Moments before puck drop for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, NHL Insider/Analyst Kevin Weekes reported that the Blackhawks had found their new Head Coach in Ryan Huska. This caused quite the frenzy online and escalted even more as Weekes quickly deleted his tweet and replaced it with this one:
This was followed up and confirmed by reports from NBCSN Chicago's Charlie Roumeliotis and CHGO's Mario Tirabassi.
But this whole sequence was very weird and strange as Kevin Weekes has been one of the most accurate at breaking news across the league this year, so it is hard to believe his source(s) would mislead him to prompt his announcement. It is also likely that Weekes was tipped off on this by someone not within the Blackhawks Organization as only local Chicago Media members (Who's sources are likely inside of the Chicago Blackhawks organization) were the first to report the hiring as inaccurate. Which has caused some to speculate that the NHL or Blackhawks Organization themselves were upset that this was leaked by Kevin Weekes. When thinking about it, it would make sense for the Blackhawks to be upset this story leaked as they spent the majority of the past few months insisting how "open and honest" the new front office regime was going to be with their fans. Maybe they feel this leaking disproves that claim as Ryan Huska's name had not been connected to the Hawks at all before this, not even as simple as being brought in for an interview. It is also possible the Blackhawks wanted to make a spectacle of their surprise hire themselves by breaking the story at a press conference after the Stanley Cup concludes. If this is the case then it seems Weekes was unfortunately caught in the crossfire of questionable Blackhawks marketing decisions.
But with how odd these events were, it would not be a surprise if Huska is named the next Blackhawks Head Coach in the coming weeks, so lets get into some of the background on new coaching candidate Ryan Huska.
Huska was a former 3rd round draft pick in 1993 of the Chicago Blackhawks but he only played in one NHL game, ironically against the Calgary Flames who he currently coaches for, and began his coaching career in 2002. Starting as in assistant coach in the WHL for the Kelowna Rockets he eventually became Head Coach for Kelowna in 2007. He would remain Head Coach of the Rockets until 2014 when he joined the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames the Adirondack Flames (currently known as the Stockton Heat) but not before picking up a WHL Championship in 2009. Huska spent the next four years as Head Coach before joining the Calgary Flames coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2018. He is currently still the Flames assistant coach and has been in charge of managing their defense.
This is exactly the type of hire that Blackhawks fans can expect for the next Head Coach. While some may have dreams of the bigger names that were on the coaching market this summer, it is very likely none of them even want to come to Chicago to coach right. It is hard to admit that Chicago is not currently a destination spot in the league given not only their current status as a rebuilder, but also the scandals off the ice that have come out this past year, it should not be a surprise that top coaches don't want to come here. Which is why Huska is the type of coach that fits the current state of the Blackhawks: it would be his first NHL Head Coaching gig, he has had success at lower levels working with younger players, and he has spent his time in the NHL working with defenseman (which the Blackhawks have a ton of mid level defensive prospects and need a coach to work with them for their development).
Whether Huska is the next coach or not, he is the type of coach that will likely be the next head coach. It is fairly guaranteed that who ever is named Head Coach this summer will not be the Head Coach when this team is ready to compete again, whenever that may be. Although I trust Kevin Weekes and believe Ryan Huska will eventually be named Head Coach this summer, let me know in the comments if you agree and by participating in the poll below! Buckle up Hawks fans the rebuilds just getting started and were in for an interesting summer, trust the process!
DO YOU THINK RYAN HUSKA WILL BE THE NEXT BLACKHAWKS HEAD COACH?
JUNE 22 45 ANSWERS
|YES, WEEKES IS ALWAYS RIGHT!||14||31.1 %|
|I'M NOT SURE, BUT IT WILL BE A COACH LIKE HUSKA.||16||35.6 %|
|NO BRING BACK BOB PULFORD!||15||33.3 %|
| LIST OF POLLS|