It reminds me a lot of the Reds situation with Jocketty and Krivsky. Once they brought Quenneville on board, they were either looking to junk Savard or he was at least on a very short leash.
I guess they figure it was Savard's last year, so it was either time to extend him or junk him. And if you're leaning towards Quenneville, might as well fire him now-- especially after an awful start. Savard could win 2 or 3 games in a row and then it would be harder to fire him, so might as well pull the trigger now.
I don't know how much of this is Savard's fault. I didn't think he did too badly considering the talent he had for most of his tenure. But it's also kind of tough to see what he had in his favor, other than being a Blackhawks icon as a player. I feel kind of bad for the guy, but I mean, if you've lost confidence in him or don't like him, it's better to fire him now than leave him hanging as a lame duck coach for the rest of the season.