The Chicago Blackhawks have made some changes to the NHL coaching staff, hiring Rob Cookson as an additional assistant and promoting Marc Crawford to associate coach. Kyle Davidson, the team’s interim general manager, explained the Cookson hire:
Rob’s extensive NHL experience will complement our staff immediately. It’s his fresh perspective, however, that will really benefit the team as we work on this transition. We look forward to Rob meeting us on this road trip and I know he is eager to get going with this group.
As the release points out, Cookson has experience as an assistant with HC Lugano in Switzerland, where he coached Blackhawks forward Philipp Kurashev. For several years, he served under Crawford with the ZSC Lions, winning the championship in 2016 when Auston Matthews was on the roster. He also has plenty of experience in the NHL, spending more than a decade as an assistant with the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators.
When the team relieved Jeremy Colliton of his duties earlier this month, they also moved on from assistants Tomas Mitell and Sheldon Brookbank. They promised then that they would be adding an assistant coach to help new interim head coach Derek King, though he would be leaning heavily on Marc Crawford for the rest of the season. That support has resulted in an increased title, as Crawford has been elevated to an associate.
There is still going to be a head coaching search for the Blackhawks moving forward, but King (and perhaps Crawford) are making a case for themselves. Since the change, the team has won three straight games and is climbing out of the brutal 1-9-2 start that they had under Colliton.