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Dirk Graham Is Next 'Hawks Coach

The Chicago Blackhawks have finally found a successor to Craig Hartsburg. They are just going to wait until Monday to name him.

The team will hold a 11 a.m. EDT news

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conference at the United Center to announce their replacement for Craig Hartsburg, who was fired after failing to lead the Blackhawks to the postseason for the first time in 29 years.

WMAQ Radio in Chicago, citing unidentified team sources, is reporting that former Blackhawk Dirk Graham will be named to the vacant post.

Hartsburg, along with his entire staff, was fired April 28 after his third season behind the bench. He went 104-102-40 over three seasons. Hartsburg was 8-8 in three playoff series.

Chicago finished the season the way it started -- winless in seven games. The Blackhawks opened the year with seven straight losses and went 0-6-1 in their final seven games. They were 2-10 on Oct. 27, but rallied to .500 for the only time this season (21-21-9) on Jan. 29. They never broke the .500 mark but were 28-30-12 and in playoff position with 12 games left.

Chicago's 30-39-13 mark for 73 points was five short of the eighth-place San Jose Sharks. They decided on getting rid of Hartsburg, who had signed a contract extension through the 1999-2000 season before the 1997-98 campaign.

The playoff streak had been the longest such active run by any team in any of the four major sports.

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