Suhonen Steps Down

Archived from 2000-01 season.

NHL teams

Alpo Suhonen is out as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, sidelined by a heart ailment with seven games left in his first season.

Suhonen has been undergoing tests for the last three weeks and an angiogram Monday revealed a blockage in one of his arteries, a condition that will not require surgery, general manager Mike Smith said.

"The condition is serious but not life-threatening," Smith said.

Assistants Denis Savard and Al MacAdam will handle the coaching duties for the Blackhawks, who will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Suhonen, a native of Finland, was hired in May after Chicago fired Lorne Molleken. He was an assistant in Toronto and worked previously with Smith with the Maple Leafs and in Winnipeg.

Suhonen will not return next season, because an NHL coach has many responsibilities during the summer and Suhonen would not be able to recover quickly enoug.

"I don't think it's in his best interest to have that kind of pressure on him, that he needs to have everything straightened away," Smith said. "It's not fair to put those demands on Alpo. His game is a little more serious than our game."

Contact The HockeyNut - Front Page - Archive

Copyright©1997-2001 The HockeyNut