CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have fired assistant coach Mike Kitchen.
After the Blackhawks became the first top-seeded team to be swept in the first round of the playoffs since the NHL adopted its current playoff format in 1994, general manager Stan Bowman promised changes.
"We believe this decision is best for our organization moving forward," Bowman said in a statement. "Mike had an impact on two different Stanley Cup championship teams during his tenure in Chicago. We appreciate his many contributions and wish he and his family success in the future."
Kitchen joined coach Joel Quenneville's Chicago staff in July 2010. He had worked with Quenneville for six years in St. Louis. He helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015, focusing primarily on defense and special teams.
The Blackhawks won the Central Division this season with a 50-23-9 record, finishing with the most points in the Western Conference. But in the playoff sweep, Chicago managed just three goals.
Bowman said Quenneville will return next season, while assistants Kevin Dineen and Jimmy Waite are still on staff.
An angry Bowman issued a statement on Saturday.
"Standing here April 22 is not the way we expected our season to end. And it's a complete failure when you measure it against the expectations that we have of ourselves," he said. "We did not come even close to reaching the standard we have set over the years here. And that's unacceptable.
"Any successes that we did experience this year are completely overshadowed by the abrupt ending to our season. It's not close to good enough for anybody. And I think it's time right now to take a look in the mirror and face facts."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.