Luke Richardson officially named Blackhawks head coach

The Blackhawks have their guy.

A lengthy search for the Chicago Blackhawks next head coach is reportedly over.

[UPDATE] After a slew of media reports emerged on Friday, the team confirmed the news on Monday morning:

Richardson’s name first emerged two weeks ago as one of the candidates that the team had “sought permission” to interview Richardson and Vancouver’s Brad Shaw.

Richardson, 53, has been with the Montreal Canadiens sine 2018, when he was brought on as an assistant coach under Claude Julien. Richardson’s coaching career came after a lengthy NHL career, which started with him being selected No. 7 overall in the 1987 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Richardson played 1,417 regular season games across 21 seasons with six teams, topping out with 436 games in six seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, while notching 35 goals and 166 assists. Richardson was a frequent occupant of the penalty box, totaling 2,055 penalty minutes — 51st all-time.

After his playing days ended, Richardson’s coaching career started, with stops in the organizations of the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders prior to his arrival in Montreal. Richardson’s served as an AHL head coach before but his NHL head coaching experience consists of one game: Game 3 of the 2021 Stanley Cup semifinals, when interim head coach Dominique Ducharme was placed into COVID-19 protocols and Richardson took over the reins for a night. Montreal won that game 3-2 in overtime over the Vegas Golden Knights.