A Montreal Canadiens assistant coach is now being considered for a head coaching position elsewhere in the NHL.
Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli is reporting that the Blackhawks have asked the Montreal Canadiens for permission to speak to assistant coach Luke Richardson. The Blackhawks fired head coach Jeremy Colliton back on November 6 and replaced him with interim head coach Derek King. It now appears that the Blackhawks want to do an in-depth search for their next, full-time head coach and Richardson’s name is on their shortlist.
Coaching updates, per sources:
> #Blackhawks have sought permission to intvw #GoHabsGo Luke Richardson & #Canucks Brad Shaw. Derek King still a strong candidate.
> David Quinn intvw'ing w #LGRW & #Flyers
> #Flyers intvw'd Jeff Blashill, believe Bruce Cassidy also on their list.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 9, 2022
Richardson has been around the NHL for a while now, spending nine seasons as an NHL assistant coach with the Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders. He was also a head coach in the American Hockey League for Binghamton Senators for four years.
During his time in Montreal, Richardson has been primarily responsible for the defensive units for the Canadiens. During last year’s 2021 NHL Playoffs, he was even tasked with temporary head coach duties during the Western Conference Finals, due to then-head coach Dominique Ducharme testing positive for Covid-19.
He worked especially close with Alexander Romanov over the last two seasons and has been a big help in getting the youngster to evolve as a player. Romanov has credited much of his progress to Richardson, who took a lot of time throughout the season to talk and work with Romanov to improve his game.
“He’s an awesome guy,” said Romanov during his season exit interview. “He’s a professional, and I love working with him, on or off the ice. He’s always had time for me.”
Luke Richardson is a player’s coach, which is becoming a popular prerequisite for NHL coaches as the league continues to get younger by the year. With almost 15 years of experience behind the bench in the pros, Richardson would be a major loss to the Montreal Canadiens. That being said, he is more than deserving of the opportunity to show what he can do as an NHL head coach.