The reviews keep coming in from around the league about the Blackhawks big move at head coach. We, here at Blackhawk Up had been waiting anxiously for the news and we have been thrilled about the hire. The Blackhawks made it official yesterday, June 27 that they had indeed hired Richardson, and they intent to introduce him publicly in a press conference on Wednesday, June 29, when I'm sure we will have some more to break down about the new head coach.
But before any of that takes place, former Blackhawks legend, Andrew Shaw, was able to get a few critical comments in. He has nothing short of a glowing review for the new head guy for the Blackhawks. Of course, Shaw witnessed and experienced his coaching first hand during his short stint with the Montreal Canadiens from 2016-2019. Shaw and Richardson crossed over from 2018-19.
In an interview with Carter Baum, writer for Blackhawks.com, Andrew Shaw stated the following:
"Honestly, when I heard that they were asking for permission to talk to him (for the role), I was hoping that they would (hire) him. I've seen it, being a player underneath him, how good of a coach he can be... I loved my experience with him. I thought it was awesome. I thought he was awesome."- Andrew Shaw
Even though Richardson played over 1,400 games as a defenseman and was a coach of the defensemen, he still made a great impact on offensive players like Andrew Shaw. This can be attributed partially to how he helped the team make an unexpected conference finals run during the bubble in 2020.
As we continue to learn more about him, there have been suggestions that he is great with young, inexperienced players, at times getting more out of them than anybody ever anticipated. Shaw corroborated that as well.
"He's gonna teach a structured game, but have that flexibility to be creative...and I think he's going to grow the young prospects coming into Chicago because he's done it time and time again. He knows what it takes to win. He knows what it takes to compete day to day. I think he's going to be great, not just for the young guys, but I think even some of the older veteran defenseman (too)."- Andrew Shaw
Lastly, Shaw pivoted to discussing Richardson's longevity in the league. I mentioned earlier that he played over 1,400 games in the NHL, 1,417 to be exact, which is good for 10th all time among defensemen. That experience will only help him in owning the room, knowing how to be patient with players, and earning the respect he deserves.
"That's a coach you can't shrug off and think you know more than. He's got the respect. He played 1,400 games...He played hard, he was physical, so he knows how painful it can be. He knows how sore you are mentally, physically drained. So I think as a player, playing for someone like that, the amount of respect you have for them, you just have to listen to him you have to buy into what he's saying because he's been there on both ends of it as a player and the coach."- Andrew Shaw
So there you have it folks. More encouraging talk about the Blackhawks new hire straight from the mouth of one of the team's legacy players. We all know Andrew Shaw is as tough as they come and for him to praise the tenacity of Luke Richardson speaks volumes to his toughness and how he handles his players. It is also valuable to have a perspective from a player who played under Richardson and for the team he is now the coach of.
Shaw knows the culture of the Blackhawks and the culture of Richardson, and clearly he thinks it is a match made in hockey heaven.