Richardson’s Role(s) as Head Coach, More Prospect Updates, and Other Blackhawks Bullets
The Super Bowl has now passed. The baseball side of Bleacher Nation is excited because pitchers and catchers report this week. Over here on the hockey side of the house? We’re patiently watching as we inch closer to the March 3 NHL Trade Deadline. Our emotions are different, but we’re all focused on the future.
- I enjoyed this piece from Mark Lazerus at The Athletic on Monday about making the move from being an assistant coach to a head coach in the NHL. He writes it through the lens of Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson’s daily grind, but includes comments from a number of other head coaches who made the transition to replacing “assistant” with “head” on his business card.
- This quote from Buffalo head coach Don Granato stood out to me. He’s talking about working with young players and how that relationship feels from the perspective of the coach — assistant or head.
“They are investments for us as coaches, and we want to help these guys succeed,” Granato said. “And when they do, and you see them grow, it is rewarding as a coach, because you do push them. There are lots of days they walk out of the building and they wonder if you even like them or not.”
- This season, being around the team I’ve seen how that is playing out in Chicago. The way Richardson and his staff are working with their players is as much educational as it is instructive — especially as younger players like Ian Mitchell, Isaak Phillips, Lukas Reichel and Jaxson Stauber have been asked to play more important roles at times. And as the numbers game have led to players like Mitchell being a healthy scratch more frequently than he would like, the conversations between coaches and player during the next practice are critical to these relationships.
- It was a fun weekend for Blackhawks prospect watching. As I noted on Twitter and in yesterday’s bullets, five of the Blackhawks’ 11 picks from the 2022 NHL Draft scored a goal on Saturday night. So Paul Ludwinski had to join the party on Sunday afternoon.
- There was intriguing news out of Sweden on Monday morning regarding one Blackhawks prospect. Victor Sjernborg, who showed well at the World Juniors as the captain for Sweden’s team, has signed a two-year deal with Växjö that will run through the 2024-25 season.
- Ben Pope wrote a nice piece about Caleb Jones becoming a bit of a Swiss Army knife for the Blackhawks on the blue line (and as a forward when asked). This is really the second full season of his career where he’s confidently part of an NHL lineup pretty much every night. And he’s done a nice job of doing the job he’s been asked, whether it’s on the left or right side and whether it’s with a veteran partner or a younger player like Mitchell or Phillips.
- Finally, back to the diamond(s in the sky? Thanks for last night, Rihanna). Baseball season is coming. Get excited, fans!
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