Chicago Blackhawks hire Luke Richardson to be new head coach

Montreal Canadiens assistant head coach Luke Richardson stands in the bench during the first period in Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (Phelan Ebenhack/AP)

Luke Richardson is finally getting a chance to be an NHL head coach after the Chicago Blackhawks announced on Monday they had hired him.

Richardson, 53, joined the Montreal Canadiens as an assistant coach in 2018. The Ottawa native worked under three head coaches — Claude Julien, Dominique Ducharme and Martin St. Louis.

Richardson famously filled in for Ducharme as head coach for the final four games of the 2021 Conference Finals after a positive COVID-19 test, guiding the Canadiens to a series win over the Vegas Golden Knights. He remained in charge for the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final before Ducharme returned.

The Canadiens immediately put out a statement of their own, describing how Richardson "was instrumental in helping the Club reach the Stanley Cup Finals last summer. Greatly appreciated and respected by the players and his fellow staff members, Luke had a significant impact on the organization and his colleagues alike."

The former NHL defenceman was also an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders, and a head coach of the AHL's Binghamton Senators.

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