The writing was on the wall for Luke Richardson when former general manager Bryan Murray relayed his disappointment in the Ottawa Senators’ penchant to promote coaches from within the organization.
John Paddock. Cory Clouston. Dave Cameron. None of them seemed to work out.
“Maybe we were too quick on them,” Murray said at his outgoing press conference on April 10.
It was an early hint that new Senators GM Pierre Dorion will be making an external hire to replace Cameron as the 11th coach in franchise history.
Richardson is now moving on after nine consecutive years with the franchise. The Senators announced on Monday that the local boy and popular AHL coach, at the helm in Binghamton for four seasons, departed the organization after a “mutual agreement” to “pursue a new opportunity.”
“I’m not on their list,” Richardson told the Ottawa Sun. “I’m disappointed, but I’m ready to move on. I appreciated the opportunity.”
Richardson, 47, went 153-120-17-14 over 304 games in Binghamton, leading the B-Sens to two playoff appearances. He retired as a Senators player in 2008-09 after 1,417 NHL games and joined the team as an NHL assistant coach the following season. He then became head coach of the AHL farm team in 2012.
Ottawa used 13 different players from Binghamton this season alone.
Senators assistant GM Randy Lee said in a statement that one of Richardson’s greatest abilities is to “teach players the nuances of what it takes to be a professional.”
He will do that elsewhere now. There are no other NHL head coaching vacancies at the moment.
Dorion, who is currently scouting at the Under-18 World Championship in Grand Forks, N.D., confirmed Monday that he has already begun conducting interviews.
Previous NHL head coaching experience is among the biggest wants on Dorion’s checklist.
With Ottawa Valley native Claude Julien remaining in Boston, potential candidates include Mike Yeo, Dallas Eakins, Kevin Dineen, Kirk Muller, Marc Crawford, Guy Boucher, Randy Carlyle, Todd Richards, and Scott Arniel.
Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli