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Report: Luke Richardson to be named head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks

His departure creates an opening on Martin St. Louis’s coaching staff.

2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Two Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Luke Richardson has been named the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks according to reports. The news was first reported by Frank Seravalli, and confirmed by Pierre LeBrun and Renaud Lavoie.

Richardson has been a part of the Montreal Canadiens coaching staff since the 2018-19 season, working under Claude Julien, Dominique Ducharme, and Martin St. Louis, working mainly with the defence. He also was interim head coach for several games during last season’s playoff run while Ducharme tested positive with COVID-19.

This will be his first NHL head coaching job. He was previously the head coach of the American Hockey League’s Binghamton Senators for four seasons, and led Canada’s Spengler Cup team in 2017.

Richardson earned lots of praise from both veteran and young defenders on the Canadiens over his time with the organization, but the team’s defensive system and penalty kill had inconsistent results under Richardson’s watch.

His departure will now create an opening on Martin St. Louis’s coaching staff. There were already reports that the team was looking for more experience to bring into the group. One name that has been bounced around is the former head coach of the Dallas Stars, Rick Bowness. Bowness has a lot of experience and success as a defensive assistant coach and he coached St. Louis while on Jon Cooper’s staff in Tampa Bay.

Bowness would bring head coach experience and fill a need on the staff that just lost their defensive assistant.