NHL

Mendes: Richardson likely waiting for chance to be NHL coach

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Ian Mendes
3/19/2014 10:05:40 AM
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At this point, it doesn't sound like Luke Richardson has any interest in becoming an assistant coach in the NHL.

There have been several Ottawa fans wondering if Richardson - currently the head coach of the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton - would be able to help the Senators with their defensive issues as an assistant coach down the road.  But speaking to him on TSN 1200 Tuesday, it sounds like the 44-year-old is waiting for the right opportunity to become a head coach in the NHL.

Richardson had spent three years as an assistant in Ottawa, but in the spring of 2012 he had a conversation with general manager Bryan Murray about his coaching future. So when the Binghamton job opened up after Kurt Kleinendorst stepped aside, he knew that was the career path he wanted to pursue.

"It was great getting the experience those first few years kind of being the part-time guy, the upstairs guy and the practice guy with the Senators. But when I had that chance to become a head coach I told Bryan, 'That's what I want to be. I want to be a head coach.' It's not that I think I'm better than anyone else or better than an assistant coach's job, I just feel more comfortable in that role and I like it," Richardson said on Tuesday.

Richardson says he currently has no aspirations to leave his post in Binghamton, where he has guided the club to a first-place position in the AHL's East Division.

"I'm really happy to be here. And I take a lot of pride trying to help these young players in the organization. So my answer is that I'm happy to be here and I'm signed for another year," added Richardson.

Of course, things could change if an NHL head coaching job opened up in the summer. A couple of teams - like Buffalo and Florida - are currently working with interim head coaches and have made no guarantees about who will be behind their bench next season. Add in the usual number of post-season coaching changes and there could be several opportunities for Richardson to consider in the summer.

But he was quick to point out the Binghamton job offers him the unique luxury of being close to his daughter who is wrapping up her sophomore year at university down the road in Ithica, New York.

"It really works well for my family with our daughter Morgan an hour away at Cornell and we get to see her a lot. It's very unusual to be able to do that in the geography of the hockey world. We are fortunate to have that so right now, my answer is that I'm going to stay in the AHL."

Luke Richardson (Photo: Getty Images)

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(Photo: Getty Images)
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