The Chicago Blackhawks have a new coach. Where does that leave the Rockford IceHogs?

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Former Montreal Canadiens interim head coach Luke Richardson, left, is pictured talking with captain Shea Weber during practice in Brossard, Quebec, on June 27, 2021. Richardson was hired to be the new Chicago Blackhawks head coach on Monday.
Former Montreal Canadiens interim head coach Luke Richardson, left, is pictured talking with captain Shea Weber during practice in Brossard, Quebec, on June 27, 2021. Richardson was hired to be the new Chicago Blackhawks head coach on Monday.

The Chicago Blackhawks have hired their next head coach, bringing in former star defenseman Luke Richardson, the recent Montreal Canadiens assistant.

Now the wait is on to find out how that will affect the coaching hierarchy for the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the Blackhawks.

Rockford's last head coach Derek King was called up to be the Hawks' interim head coach after Jeremy Colliton, another former Hogs' head coach, was fired last November.

Anders Sorensen coached the Hogs as the interim head coach the rest of this season, leading Rockford to a 39-33-4-1 record and a playoff series victory. The Hogs were swept out of the second round by the eventual AHL champion Chicago Wolves.

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Now that the Hawks have shored up their head coaching situation, it's expected that the Hogs will do so soon. However, there is no word yet on how or when that will occur.

“We are excited having a seasoned coach like Luke join the organization as head coach,” Hawks new general manager Kyle Davidson said in a statement. “Luke shares our vision and goals for the future, and he will have an opportunity to build an environment and culture of high-performance, hard work and high accountability.”

Richardson, 53, served as an assistant coach for the Canadiens for the last four seasons. During the 2021 postseason, he was called upon to replace Dominique Ducharme due to COVID-19 protocols just before Game 3 of the semifinals, and he led the Canadiens past the Vegas Golden Knights to advance to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1993. Richardson was also called upon to be the head coach for two games in the finals that year against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“I am honored to be trusted with this opportunity to coach an Original Six franchise like the Chicago Blackhawks,” Richardson said on the Hogs' web site. “My philosophy is to be better today than we were yesterday and, to achieve that, we will need commitment and consistency.”

Prior to his time with the Canadiens, Richardson served as an assistant coach for the New York Islanders during the 2017-18 season. Before landing in New York, he was the head coach of the Binghamton Senators of the AHL from 2012-16. While there, Richardson earned a 153-120-31 record, with the team qualifying for the AHL's Calder Cup Playoffs in his first two seasons.

Richardson will get his first real work in as an official NHL head coach when the Hawks will host their 2022 Development Camp at Fifth Third Arena from July 11-15.

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The former defenseman played 21 years in the NHL after being selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, seventh overall, in the 1987 NHL Draft. Richardson compiled 35 goals, 166 assists and 2,055 penalty minutes in 1,417 career NHL games with Toronto (1987-91, 2005-06), Edmonton (1991-97), Philadelphia (1997-2002), Columbus (2002-06), Tampa Bay (2006-07) and Ottawa (2007-09).

Richardson is 10th all-time among league blueliners in games played. Additionally, he skated in 69 career postseason contests, recording eight assists.

Jay Taft is a Rockford Register Star sports reporter. Email him at jtaft@rrstar.com and follow him on Twitter at @JayTaft. Sign up for the Rockford High School newsletter at rrstar.com. Jay has covered a wide variety of sports, from the Chicago Bears to youth sports, for more than 20 years at the Register Star, and for nearly 30 years all together. He was a four-sport athlete himself, and is the father of five that went on to be jocks of some kind as well.

This article originally appeared on Rockford Register Star: Blackhawks hire head coach; what's next for Rockford IceHogs?