Joel Quenneville hires former Kings assistant Jamie Kompon
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org July 17, 2012 7:36PM
Jamie Kompon spent the last six seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, but his contract was not renewed after they won the Stanley Cup. | Andy Marlin~Getty Images
Updated: August 19, 2012 6:30AM
In the end, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville added one more of his guys to his bench.
After a long, extensive search for an assistant coach after Mike Haviland was fired May 8, the Hawks finally named Jamie Kompon as his replacement Tuesday.
Haviland was fired after Quenneville agreed with general manager Stan Bowman that there was “dysfunction” on his staff. When the firing was announced, Quenneville said the hire would be his decision.
During the draft in June, Quenneville said there was “a long list” of “outstanding candidates” he was considering. But a league source indicated that some candidates were wary of joining the Hawks because of the uncertainty surrounding Quenneville’s future in Chicago.
Quenneville’s contract runs through the 2013-14 season. But after back-to-back first-round exits and erratic regular seasons, many around the league believe Quenneville is already on the hot seat.
Kompon spent the last six seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, but his contract wasn’t renewed after they won the Stanley Cup. He also had served as the Kings’ director of amateur development.
Kompon, who has more than 15 years of NHL coaching experience, was an assistant under Quenneville and alongside assistant Mike Kitchen with the St. Louis Blues.
“Jamie will bring us all the great qualities you look for in a coach, most notably his work ethic and a winning resume,” Quenneville said. “We have a great working relationship, and I am confident he will be a great fit with us here in Chicago.”
The Hawks’ lackluster power play was a major point of conflict last season, but Quenneville said he wasn’t looking for a coach with a specific specialty. Kompon often was faulted for the King’ power-play struggles, despite their bevy of talent.
Quenneville said after Haviland was fired that he and his staff would share the responsibilities of handling both special teams, but he also adamantly defended Kitchen’s work on the power play.
Last season, the Hawks’ brass sent in Barry Smith, the team’s director of player development and former assistant to senior adviser Scotty Bowman, to help the power play with on-ice instruction.
Sources said the move infuriated Quenneville. An argument between Quenneville and Smith ended Smith’s participation before the playoffs. Rampant speculation about Quenneville leaving the Hawks soon followed.
Since then, Quenneville has said that he wants to stay with the Hawks and that he could have handled certain areas differently and better than he did last season. Stan Bowman, meanwhile, said he still believes in Quenneville.
With Kompon on board, Quenneville gains an ally.
In a statement, Bowman said Kompon’s familiarity with Quenneville and Kitchen “will help our staff and players with the transition.”