Hawks Insider

How Luke Richardson will divide Hawks coaching duties


Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson is preparing for his first training camp as an NHL bench boss, and he admitted in Wednesday's media availability that "there will be lots of things I learn along the way."

One of his first tasks was to put together his own coaching staff, which was finalized in August with the hirings of Kevin Dean, Derek King and Derek Plante as his three assistants. The next step was to figure out how the responsibilities would be divided up, and that got ironed out over the course of the rest of the summer.

While he iterated multiple times that it will be a collaborative effort, Richardson has appointed Dean to oversee the defense and penalty kill, Plante to oversee the forwards and power play, and King to assist Richardson with the 5-on-5 game prep and other key situations like 6-on-5 or 5-on-6 and 3-on-3 overtime.

"As of now, we're delegating that and everyone seems happy with their roles," Richardson said. "Our staff is going to all work together. ... I have my own office somewhere but I told Kyle [Davidson] he can have it because I'll never be in there except to maybe change and that's it. I like to be with the guys and working on things and talking about things every day."

[MORE: How Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson hopes to make Kyle Davidson's job tough this season]

On another note, Richardson said there hasn't been any weirdness at all with King, who served as Chicago's interim coach for the majority of last season and got passed over for the permanent job.

"We had a great discussion right away, and he's a great person," Richardson said. "I played with him in one All-Star game in junior way back when and we actually remember it and had a great time together for the weekend and coached against each other in the American League. And we used to run into each other a little bit in Toronto and Binghamton and have good discussions. I just always liked his demeanor behind the bench, and that's the way I want to be. 

"All the guys, I think you'll see that we're going to be calm, doing our job, paying attention to the game, but also making sure that we're teaching along the way when teaching needs to be done and hopefully not getting too upset at the referees. Usually, that's the only area that you get a little bit bonkers on that bench.

"But other than that, I think we're all the same demeanor, which is going to be good for communication amongst each other and the players. And I think the players will respond to that because I think if you're not in sync behind the bench or you're out of control behind the bench, that filters onto the players, and they take that upon themselves or it gets them off their game, and we want them to be on their game."

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