According to The Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the Chicago Blackhawks will name former Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Luke Richardson to be their next bench boss. The team underwent a search for a new head coach after firing Jeremy Colliton on November 6 and Derek King replaced him on an interim basis for the rest of the 2021-22 season.
Richardson has been an assistant on the Canadiens’ coaching staff for the past four seasons. Prior, he worked as an assistant on the Ottawa Senators’ staff from 2009-12 and a head coach for the AHL’s Birminghamton Senators, Ottawa’s minor league affiliate, from 2012-16. His baby Senators went 153-120-31 during his tenure and lost in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs in each of his first two seasons.
He served as head coach of the Canadiens for five games of their run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final when Dominique Ducharme tested positive for COVID-19. The Canadiens went 2-3 and closed out the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals over that time.
The Blackhawks finished the 2021-22 season seventh in the Central Division and 14th in the Western Conference with a 28-42-12 record, coming eight points behind the Anaheim Ducks for 13th and 29 short of the Nashville Predators the second wild-card spot. They missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight season and fourth time in the past five.
The team earned averages of 2.60 goals-per-game (tied for 28th in the NHL), 3.52 goals-against per game (26th), a 19.2% power-play efficiency (21st), and a 76.2% penalty killing rate (24th). They started the season 1-7-2 before firing Colliton.
The Blackhawks could move left-wing Alex DeBrincat, who is due a qualifying offer of at least $9 million per season on his next contract after 2022-23 when he can become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, this offseason. The 24-year-old led the team with 41 goals (tied for 13th league wide) and came in second with 78 points in 82 games this past campaign.
The Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and Winnipeg Jets are now the only teams currently without a head coach for next season.
The Vegas Golden Knights replaced Pete DeBoer with former Bruins and Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Cassidy on a reported contract that will pay him $4.5 million for five seasons. The Philadelphia Flyers hired John Tortorella, who signed a four-year contract that will pay him $4 million per season, on Friday. The Dallas Stars brought in DeBoer after Rick Bowness resigned and the Florida Panthers hired Paul Maurice to take over for Andrew Brunette. Lane Lambert will also take over for Barry Trotz on the New York Islanders’ staff.
Hearing Luke Richardson will be the next head coach of the Chicago #Blackhawks.
Sources say Richardson and the Hawks are putting the final touches on a contract.
Quite the resume for Richardson, who played 1400+ NHL games, 8 years as NHL assistant, 4 years as AHL head coach.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 24, 2022
By Harrison Brown