The Montreal Canadiens have hired Luke Richardson as an assistant coach, bringing him over from the New York Islanders where he worked under Doug Weight last season. With Barry Trotz coming in for that team it wasn’t clear where Richardson would end up, but his impressive coaching record has landed him a new role right away. Richardson retired less than a decade ago, and already has four years as an AHL head coach, four years as an NHL assistant and several appearances with Team Canada’s staff at the international level.
Richardson also had a very long and successful playing career that spanned 1,417 regular season games. Never much of an offensive threat, he was nevertheless a reliable defenseman who could log big minutes and play the penalty kill. He’ll try to help the Canadiens defense corps deal with another injury to Shea Weber which is expected to keep the star defenseman out until December. The blue line struggled without Weber last season, and will have to find a way to keep the Canadiens in the hunt through the first half of the season if Montreal expects to challenge for a playoff spot.
- Patrick Wiercioch, who played last season with the Utica Comets of the AHL, has signed with Dinamo Minsk in the KHL. Wiercioch played 57 games for the Colorado Avalanche in 2016-17, but couldn’t find an NHL role this past season. He’ll try to build up his value in Russia, where he should receive regular minutes and a good opportunity. The 27-year old could try to make a return to the NHL at some point down the road, but for now is off the North American radar.
- The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have signed several veteran minor league names, including Chris Bourque the league’s active points leader. Bourque, son of NHL legend Ray Bourque, has won nearly every award possible in the AHL including the Calder Cup three times. He’s coming to Bridgeport to play alongside his brother Ryan Bourque, who spent last season with the team and has re-signed on an AHL deal. Chris Bourque played for the US Olympic team this past spring, notching two points in five games during what was likely his only chance to suit up in the tournament.