Blackhawks reportedly hire Luke Richardson as head coach

It looks like Luke Richardson will be the new head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The move was first reported by Frank Seravalli. from Daily Faceoff, and when it’s official, Richardson will become the 40th coach in franchise history. It will be his first job as a head coach in the NHL as he replaces Derek King who completed the 2021-22 season as the team’s interim head coach. King took over from Jeremy Colliton after being sacked early in the season following a 1-9-2 start to the season where he wasn’t even remotely competitive and never seemed ready to play at the start of the games .

Richardson was an assistant coach for the Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens in recent seasons, serving as head coach for the Canadiens for one game during the 2020/21 Stanley Cup final when Dominique Ducharme was sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols.

He also spent four seasons as the head coach of the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League between the 2012-13 and 2015-16 seasons.

[Related: What a potential Alex DeBrincat trade could look like for Chicago Blackhawks]

Prior to his coaching career, Richardson played more than 1,400 games in the NHL as a defenseman with the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lighting, scoring 35 career goals, 166 assists and 201 points. He also appeared in 69 career playoff games with the Flyers, Maple Leafs and Oilers.

As for the task ahead, this is going to be a short-term challenge for Richardson and the Blackhawks.

Not only are the team coming out with a brutal 2021-22 performance that was among the worst in the league, but the team is clearly diving first into a massive rebuilding phase that is likely to strip the roster even further. There is a possibility that Alex DeBrincat could trade this summer, while futures of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews remain in doubt as both players enter the final year of their contracts.

Even if all three are back for this season, the roster elsewhere is so thin that competing will seem like a dream. If one, two, or even all three are traded at any given time, there will be nothing on the list that resembles an impact player. It’s not exactly an ideal situation for a new coach, especially a novice coach. This will now require a lot of patience. Not just from Blackhawks fans, but from Richardson himself.

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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports† Give him a call [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @AGretz

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