Luke Richardson, the former player and bench boss that interviewed for Anaheim’s vacant head coaching gig this summer, has caught on with Hockey Canada as an assistant coach for the upcoming Deutschland Cup, per the Ottawa Sun.
Richardson, 47, is considered to be a quality NHL coach-in-waiting.
A veteran d-man with over 1,400 games played in Toronto, Edmonton, Philly, Columbus, Tampa Bay and Ottawa, he’s since enjoyed success as both an assistant coach with the Sens, and as their bench boss in AHL Binghamton.
In his first year with Bingo, Richardson led the club to a 44-21-1-7 record. He was named the AHL’s Eastern Conference all-star coach in his second year.
Richardson’s been praised for his work developing young prospects. Upon departing the Sens organization this summer — he asked GM Pierre Dorion to be considered for the head coaching gig in Ottawa, but was turned down — the club noted that 13 of Richardson’s players were recalled from Binghamton last season.
Earlier, Richardson received accolades for his work with the likes of Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
Unsurprisingly, he’s been linked to a variety of NHL jobs.
Richardson was considered a frontrunner for the Sabres gig that eventually went to Dan Bylsma and, as mentioned above, was shortlisted and interviewed by Ducks GM Bob Murray to replace Bruce Boudreau (the job eventually went to Randy Carlyle).
“My confidence grew when I was with Binghamton and I have a plan about how to be successful in the NHL,” Richardson said, per the Sun. “But there are only 30 jobs and you’ve got to be patient.
“It’s unfortunate that if you do get a chance, it’s at somebody else’s expense, but I know that if I sign somewhere, I would immediately be on the clock, too.”
Taking a tourney gig with Hockey Canada has proven an effective way to break into — or, back into — NHL coaching. Guy Boucher led Canada at the 2014 and 2015 Spengler Cups, and subsequently scored the Sens gig this summer.