CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks are expected to name Montreal Canadiens assistant Luke Richardson as their new head coach, sources confirmed to the Chicago Tribune on Friday.
The Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli first reported the news.
Richardson, 53, becomes the 40th head coach in Hawks history and replaces interim coach Derek King. Richardson is tasked with kickstarting a new era for the franchise.
The Hawks confirmed that they interviewed four candidates, including Richardson, King, Vancouver Canucks associate coach Brad Shaw and Pittsburgh Penguins assistant Todd Reirden.
Richardson has more than 25 years of experience in the NHL and was a head coach of the Binghamton Senators, the Ottawa Senators’ AHL affiliate. He was assistant coach with the New York Islanders before joining the Habs as an assistant coach in July 2018.
The former Toronto Maple Leafs first-round pick was a defenseman for 21 years, playing 1,417 games with the Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Senators.
He replaces King, who assumed the helm Nov. 6 after the Hawks fired Jeremy Colliton after a 1-9-2 start. King presided over a 27-33-10 finish.
Then-interim general manager Kyle Davidson promoted King from the minor league Rockford IceHogs with the hope King would be a more effective communicator than Colliton.
And Davidson made that quality a prerequisite for the permanent bench boss.
Said Davidson on May 3: “We want the coaches that are able to communicate, able to drive a message and create a positive culture and get players to want to come to the rink and compete every single night. And that’s based on track record and that’s also based on how they deliver a message.”