NHL | Blackhawks man Luke Richardson

The Chicago Blackhawks have made their choice. Luke Richardson becomes their new head coach at 40e in the franchise’s history, with a very clear mandate to undertake a painful rebuilding process.

Posted at 11:57 am
Updated at 12:14 p.m

The Press and the Canadian Press

“We are pleased to have an experienced coach like Luke in our organization,” said General Manager Kyle Davidson. Luke shares our vision and goals for the future and we will have the opportunity to build an environment and culture of high performance, hard work and accountability. During the interview process, it became clear that he had all the qualities we were looking for in our head coach, but also was someone with the perfect character to lead the Blackhawks to our next step. »

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to coach a team as original as the Blackhawks,” said Richardson. I look forward to working with Kyle, Jeff Greenberg, Norm Maciver and the rest of the Hockey Operations Group. Together we will work to lead our team to success. Accurate communication, a plan, hard work and quality execution will lead us to this success. »

Richardson, a former NHL defenseman, has been an assistant coach for the Canadiens since the 2017-2018 season. He was in charge of defensemen, a role that will be difficult to fill after his departure, especially for a team like the Canadiens with several young defensemen.

“I want to wish Luke the best of luck in his next professional challenge with the Blackhawks,” said Kent Hughes, general manager of the Canadiens. Luke is fully committed to our team’s cause and has played an important role over the past several years. We thank him for his work with us and for his commitment. »

Previously, Richardson was an assistant with the Ottawa Senators from 2009 to 2012 before assuming responsibility for the American Hockey League’s Binghamton Senators. He was the head coach in the AHL for four years.

Richardson’s superiority over his players is well established. Ben Chiarot, then a member of the Canadian, had also said in June 2021 when Richardson had to replace Dominique Ducharme: “I think I speak for all our defenders by saying that we would all go through a wall for Luke. Because he would do the same for us. »

“The boys will respect him,” Corey Perry said during the Stanley Cup final. He’s been in the sport for a long time. He knows the sport really well. »

Richardson played 1,417 NHL games, scoring 35 goals and 166 assists for 201 points.

He was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round in 1987 seventh overall and played four seasons there. The defenseman went on to play for the Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning before retiring in Ottawa.

The Hawks Challenge

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015 but have struggled in recent years.

They entered last season with hopes of making the playoffs, but instead entered the campaign 1-9-2, en route to a 28-42-12 record and seventh in the division.

Stan Bowman, who served as chief executive for several years, tendered his resignation in October after an outside legal firm concluded the organization mishandled allegations that an assistant coach abused a player during the team’s run to Stanley Cup had sexually assaulted in 2010.

Kyle Davidson was appointed on an interim basis before leaving on April 1ah March. Norm Maciver joined the hockey leadership in March as associate general manager, and Jeff Greenberg was hired in an identical capacity in April.

Richardson succeeds Derek King, who ended the season as interim head coach following the November 6 sacking of Jeremy Colliton. King was among the contenders for the full-time job after leading the Blackhawks to a 27-33-10 record.

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