Longtime assistant Luke Richardson was officially announced as the Chicago Blackhawks head coach on Monday, marking his first NHL head coaching position.
Frank Seravelli of Daily Faceoff first reported Friday that the Blackhawks would hire Richardson to lead the team. He has eight years of experience as an NHL assistant coach, most recently spending the last four seasons on the Montreal Canadiens bench.
Richardson also spent time with the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders during his coaching career. He also was head coach of the AHL's Binghamton Senators for four years.
Prior to coaching, Richardson was a defenseman in the NHL for 21 seasons. He played in over 1,400 games for the Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning. When he retired in 2009, Richardson ended his career with 35 goals and 166 assists for 201 points.
The Blackhawks missed the playoffs for the second straight year after finishing seventh in the Central Division with a 28-42-12 record this past season.
Chicago opened the year with nine consecutive losses and had an eight-game losing streak toward the end of the year. Former head coach Jeremy Colliton was fired less than a month into the season and Derek King served as interim head coach for the remainder of the year.
Richardson's hiring is the first step into a new era for the Blackhawks. Veteran winger Patrick Kane is entering the final year of his contract in 2022-23, and he expressed a desire to finish his career with the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2007. The 33-year-old helped lead Chicago to Stanley Cup victories in 2010, 2013 and 2015.