Just moments ago NHL Insider Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff broke the story that the Chicago Blackhawks will be hiring Montreal Canadiens Assistant Coach Luke Richardson to be their new Head Coach. This report has been confirmed by others, one being Jay Zawaski of CHGO who confirmed with his sources that Luke Richardson will be the next Blackhawks Head Coach.
This hire makes sense for the Blackhawks as they were likely not going to make a splash hire at the start of their rebuild, and went with Richardson who will be a first time NHL Head Coach. Richardson also had a long NHL playing career: Drafted 7th overall as a defenseman in 1987, Richardson would go on to play in 1417 games with six different NHL teams over the span of his NHL career before retiring in 2009 with the Ottawa Senators. Richardson began his coaching career shortly after retirement joining the Senators coaching staff as an assistant for the 2009/10 season, where he would spend the next 3 season before becoming an AHL Head Coach. Moving from on assistant on the NHL club to Head Coach of the Binghamton Senators, (Ottawa's AHL Affiliate) Richardson led them to only finishing below .500 once in his four year tenure as Head Coach ending in 2016. Returning to coaching in 2017 as an assistant on the New York Islanders, Richardson would only spend a year on the Island before joining the Montreal Canadiens staff as an assistant coach.
Richardson's focus in Montreal was running their defensive corps, but he does technically have some playoff experience filling in as a Head Coach. Around this time last year then Canadiens Head Coach Dominique Ducharme was quarantined due to COVID-19, Richardson took over in the Conference Finals against the Vegas Golden Knights and then the beginning of the Stanley Cup Final against Tampa Bay.
Richardson's experience not only as a defenseman but running an NHL defensive corps is well needed for the Blackhawks as they will likely have a few young defenseman enter the league over the next couple of seasons, but have also been one of the league's worst defensive teams the last few seasons. Richardson will most likely have a pressure free environment to coach in for the coming seasons as the Blackhawks do not appear to be contending anytime soon so lets all hope he can work well and develop the next wave of Blackhawks youngsters into a contending core.