The Chicago Blackhawks’ new goalie coach has a familiar name.
Jimmy Waite, who spent parts of nine NHL seasons with Chicago, has been hired as the ‘Hawks new goalie guru, the club announced on Monday. Waite replaces the outgoing Steve Weeks, who lasted just one season on the job after taking over from Stephane Waite — Jimmy’s older brother, who left the team last season after 10 years on the job.
“We are pleased to welcome Jimmy back to our organization in his new role,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He has over two decades of professional hockey experience and will be a great addition to our coaching staff.”
Jimmy has spent the last two seasons as the goalie coach with QMHJL Chicoutimi and, at 45, is only a few years removed from his playing days. As for Weeks, it’s unclear exactly why he was turfed so quickly, though Joel Quenneville said it was his decision to relieve the longtime goalie coach of his duties.
“Tough situation,” Quenneville explained, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “But we’re looking to make a change.”
As mentioned, Weeks joined the organization last year and had large shoes to fill from the Waite era. Stephane was lauded for his work with a number of ‘tenders, including Antti Niemi — who went from the Finnish second division to Stanley Cup champ in four years — and Corey Crawford, who backstopped Chicago to the championship in 2013.