When Kent Hughes called to tell him that the Chicago Blackhawks had asked for permission to chat with him, Luke Richardson was intrigued.
Posted yesterday at 14:00
The 53-year-old, assistant to the Canadiens since 2018, had never been a full-time coach in the NHL before, but his brief stint in that capacity, behind the Canadiens bench, had led him to hope he continues one of these days.
“In Montreal, I was lucky enough to be able to be behind the bench with some good coaches and also a very good general manager at Marc Bergevin, he explained at a press conference from Chicago on Wednesday. Claude Julien was an experienced coach and I was then able to work with Dominique Ducharme and Martin St-Louis, himself a former teammate. He has the vision of an elite player and I was able to learn together with him …
“But a year ago, during the playoffs, COVID-19 hit [Dominique Ducharme], and it gave me the opportunity to become the coach… and this experience gave me confidence. It showed me that I was ready for a job as a head coach in this league. ”
When we won our series against Vegas with the Canadian, for me, it was really proof that I was capable of doing this job.
The Blackhawks’ management obviously agrees, since Richardson has been hired as the Chicago club’s new manager, thus taking over from interim manager Derek King, who had himself taken over from Jeremy Colliton, who was fired in earlier this season after just 12 games.
Richardson, a native of Ottawa, had a long 21-season career as a defender in the NHL before trying his luck as an assistant with the Senators in 2009-2010. He then served as head coach of the American League’s Binghamton Senators for four years.
He joined the Canadiens in July 2018, at the request of Marc Bergevin and Claude Julien.
In interview with The print On Tuesday young Canadian defender Jordan Harris said this about the new Blackhawks driver: “He’s a manager who trusts his players, and in return he trusts his players. I recently read that all the Canadiens guys loved it and I can tell you it’s true! ”
“A step at a time…”
The leaders of the Blackhawks took their man, of course.
“Kile [Davidson, le DG] he called me here a few weeks ago, we talked for about four hours, but it didn’t take long, “added Richardson. The decision makers here made me feel at ease, and then I got another call from Kyle telling me. he was asking to come back, and that night we went to dinner and watched a Stanley Cup Finals game. They probably wanted to see what I thought of the game and I felt safe and comfortable. ”
A bit like in Montreal with Martin St-Louis, in Chicago, we don’t expect the arrival of a new manager to turn the team into a champion in the blink of an eye.
But Richardson won’t be too offended by wins or losses. At least for now.
“I have lived through these situations before as a player, as an assistant … I feel comfortable with the idea of developing players and being patient with them. I am an optimist, I want to win all games, but you have to take one step at a time. … ”
- Number of games played by Luke Richardson in the NHL as a player