The Montreal Canadiens are fresh off their 1st Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 28 years, and though they ultimately didn't get the result they wanted, they're moving to ensure they keep those who helped enable the storybook run around in order to try for it again.
And to that end, they've announced a three-year contract extension with assistant coach Luke Richardson.
As you may remember, it was Richardson who stepped in during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs for head coach Dominique Ducharme, who had contracted COVID-19. He made his debut during Montreal's 3-2 overtime win over Vegas in Game 3 of the semifinals, and stayed in that role until Ducharme's return during the Finals.
For Richardson, it was an easy decision to return behind the Habs bench with his "good friend."
"I've become good friends with Dom," Richardson explained after the contract was announced. "We talk a lot, not just about hockey, but other things. We have a lot in common. We both have a calm demeanor. We work well together, so it was a no-brainer to come back. Obviously, with the excitement this year that we had with the team and the players, what a fun atmosphere to be a part of. The way Geoff Molson runs the whole organization, all the way down through Berge and the whole staff, is great. The players were so fantastic this year in the playoffs. It's such a great atmosphere to be a part of, it's special, and it's hard to find in the world these days, not just in hockey or sports, but in any group with the way the world is right now with COVID. It's a tough environment, so to be a part of this family was a really easy decision."
"There's a great energy between us. We're all business when it's time to work, but we also have fun and we enjoy things. Sometimes, you can't take everything so seriously. You've got to be able to enjoy things. If you can do that at the right times, it makes the important times and the more serious times more meaningful and more productive. We have a good relationship, both in hockey and outside hockey, and with Sean Burke, too. It was a great staff. Moving forward, we want to run on this energy that we've created here this year. A lot of that came from the players. They put the effort in out on the ice and they really did a fantastic job. To be a part of that was very special. You hate to see it end. It's a terrible feeling when it ends, but what an opportunity it is to recreate that and try to build off of it."