It appears as if the Canadiens will be on the lookout for a new assistant coach as Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports that the Blackhawks will soon appoint Luke Richardson as their next head coach. Richardson is believed to have beaten out Brad Shaw and Derek King for the position. A contract is not yet finalized yet but is expected to be done soon.
The 53-year-old joined Montreal four years ago as their new defensive coach but also briefly got his first taste of being an NHL head coach last season in the playoffs. When Dominique Ducharme had to miss time due to entering COVID protocol, it was Richardson who was tapped to take over on an interim basis. The Habs went 3-3 in that stretch, finishing off their third-round series against Vegas while also starting off the Stanley Cup Final versus Tampa Bay.
While Montreal’s defensive metrics haven’t been great with Richardson on the staff, he has been widely praised by his blueliners as a great coach to work with. That likely helped endear him to Chicago as the Blackhawks are set to embark on a sizable rebuild so having a coach that the players will respond well to even in tough times will certainly help.
Of course, Richardson’s pending departure creates a sizable hole on Montreal’s coaching staff as he was the only one among the group that actually had NHL coaching experience prior to being hired. With that in mind, it would make sense for the Habs to pursue an experienced defensive coach not only to work with the many younger prospects on the way but also to help Martin St. Louis navigate through his first full season behind the bench.