Former Blue Jackets defenseman Luke Richardson named head coach of Chicago Blackhawks

Luke Richardson in 2013 at American Hockey League All-Star Skills Competition. By The AHL, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Richardson joins Chicago with nearly a decade of NHL coaching experience, plus 21 seasons as an NHL defenseman

Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Kyle Davidson announced in late June, that Luke Richardson had been hired as Head Coach. Richardson joins the organization with nearly a decade of National Hockey League coaching experience as an assistant coach and four years as an American Hockey League head coach.  

“We are excited having a seasoned coach like Luke join the organization as head coach,” said General Manager Kyle Davidson. “Luke shares our vision and goals for the future, and he will have an opportunity to build an environment and culture of high-performance, hard work and high accountability. Throughout the interview process, it became evident that he not only had every quality we were looking for in a head coach, but also is a high-character individual that was perfect to lead this next era of the Chicago Blackhawks.”

Richardson, 53, served as an assistant coach for the Montreal Canadiens for the last four seasons (2018-22). During the 2021 postseason, Richardson was called upon to replace Dominique Ducharme (COVID-19 Protocol) prior to Game 3 of the Semifinals, and under his leadership, the Canadiens defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in six games to advance to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1993. Richardson also operated as head coach for two games in that year’s final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“I am honored to be trusted with this opportunity to coach an Original Six franchise like the Chicago Blackhawks,” said Richardson. “I look forward to working with Kyle, Jeff Greenberg, Norm Maciver and the rest of the Hockey Operations group in addition to having the guidance of Rocky Wirtz, Danny Wirtz and Jamie Faulkner. Together, we will work to direct the team on a journey that we believe will achieve success. Clear communication, a plan, hard work and execution will lead us to that success. 

I plan to create an environment of trust with our team. With trust, relationships will form and grow, thus allowing everyone to blossom and execute their role. My philosophy is to be better today than we were yesterday and, to achieve that, we will need commitment and consistency.” 

Prior to his time with the Canadiens, Richardson served as an assistant coach for the New York Islanders during the 2017-18 season. Before landing in New York, he was the head coach of the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League from 2012-16. While there, Richardson coached the club to a 153-120-31 record, with the team qualifying for the playoffs in his first two seasons. 

The Ottawa, Ontario native made his NHL coaching debut as an assistant coach with his hometown team, the Ottawa Senators during the 2008-09 campaign. He would serve in that capacity through the 2012 season. 

On the international stage, Richardson worked with Hockey Canada in 2016-17, winning the Spengler Cup as Team Canada’s head coach, and helped them reach the finals at the Deutschland Cup as an assistant coach. 

The former defenseman played 21 years in the NHL after being selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, seventh overall, in the 1987 NHL Draft. Richardson compiled 35 goals, 166 assists and 2,055 penalty minutes in 1,417 career NHL games with Toronto (1987-91, 2005-06), Edmonton (1991-97), Philadelphia (1997-2002), Columbus (2002-06), Tampa Bay (2006-07) and Ottawa (2007-09). 

Richardson is 10th all-time among league blueliners in games played. Additionally, he skated in 69 career postseason contests, recording eight assists. With Team Canada, Richardson represented his country at the IIHF World Championship in 1994 and 1996, winning gold and silver, respectively. 

Richardson, and his wife Stephanie, have two daughters, Morgan and the late Daron. 

COURTESY Chicago Blackhawks Communications

Posted in NHL
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