Chicago Blackhawks Make Head Coaching Hire

Luke Richardson Hired
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The Chicago Blackhawks have made their decision about a new head coach. General manager Kyle Davidson has hired former NHLer Luke Richardson as its new head coach. News of the deal was broken by the Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli Friday morning.

NHL free agent frenzy

Luke Richardson Hired as Chicago coach

Richardson comes in after serving as an NHL assistant for eight seasons. He was the bench boss for the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of Stanley Cup semifinal against the Vegas Golden Knights. Richardson guided the Habs to victory after then-coach Dominque Ducharme was in COVID-19 isolation.

The Ottawa native had been an assistant with the hometown Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and Canadiens. He served as the head coach of the AHL Binghamton Senators and made them a contender in the Eastern Conference. Richardson was also an assistant on the international level with in 2016 and led Canada to the Spengler Cup that year.

He was also a longtime veteran player with stints on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators. The former seventh overall pick by the Leafs in the 1987 NHL Draft scored 33 goals and 159 assists for 192 points in 1,417 career games.

What It Means

Richardson takes over for interim boss Derek King, who stepped in when Jeremy Colliton was fired. The former grinder gets his first shot at an NHL job, which is something he’s been wanting for a while.

The 53-year-old comes into an uncertain time in the Blackhawks history. Chicago is stuck between a rebuild and contending and Davidson has tough decisions to make. Players like Alex DeBrincat may be on the move as start of a tear down. There are still players like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, but they’re free agents after this season.

Richardson will have his work cut out for him this season. However, he’s surpassed expectations in the past in Binghamton. It’ll be a tough job, but he’s been waiting a while for a chance.