MONTREAL – He knew there would be a lot of tough moments during the 2022-2023 season when he signed up to be the Blackhawks’ head coach, and that’s been the case for Luke Richarson.
That included Tuesday night when his team lost to the Canadiens 4-0 on the road in a lackluster 60 minutes of hockey for his rebuilding group.
Yet there was one great moment for Richardson during his trip to Montreal on Tuesday evening as he returned to a place where he honed his coaching craft for a number of years.
During a break in the first period at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens took a moment to welcome back the leader of the Blackhawks in his first visit to the venue since he left for Chicago last summer.
The team welcomed him back over the public address system and also put him up on the video board as the fans gave him an ovation. Richardson waved to the crowd to acknowledge them for their cheers.
A 21-year veteran of the NHL as a player, the Canadiens were the fourth stop on his coaching career after time as an assistant with Senators, head coach of the Binghamton Senators of the AHL, and then an assistant coach again with the Islanders.
Richardson arrived before the 2018 season and was an assistant for four seasons under Claude Julien, Dominique Ducharme, and Martin St. Louis. In 2020-2021, Montreal advanced to the Stanley Cup Final, and the assistant got to be the interim head coach for Game 3 after Ducharme tested positive for COVID-19.