CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Blackhawks have found a new leader on the ice, and they hope he will lead them to their next Stanley Cup.
Luke Richardson has joined the Blackhawks in his first position as an NHL head coach – but this is not the first time he has excelled leading a team.
In 2021, COVID-19 forced Richardson into an acting head coach role while an assistant in Montreal. Now, the 53-year-old former defenseman brings with him 21 years of NHL playing experience.
After spending the last four years as an assistant coach with the Canadiens, Richardson understands the challenge ahead for a team rebuilding and gearing up for its next championship push.
"Playing experiences, coaching experiences – I'm totally comfortable with developing players, having patience with players. But I think I've said right from the start, I'm an optimist, and I feel like I want to go win every game - and I'm going to approach every game like that," Richardson said. "But realistically, we have to take steps."
"When we started this search, we wanted someone who could lead with authority and who would hold players accountable," said Blackhawks General Manager Kyle Davidson. "In addition, we were looking for someone who could develop and coach young talent, while also connecting with our veteran players.
Richardson has also been an assistant coach for the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators in the NHL, and the Binghamton Senators in the AHL.
A seventh-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1987, Richardson spent 21 seasons as a defenseman, playing 1,417 games for the Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Senators.
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