Richardson details interesting interview process with Hawks originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
When GM Kyle Davidson interviewed potential candidates for the Blackhawks' permanent head coaching position, Luke Richardson stood out as somebody who checked a lot of the boxes he was looking for. High character, a calm demeanor and instant credibility are among the top qualities.
All of that was evident to Davidson in his first interview with Richardson.
"It just felt like it clicked," Davidson said. "It felt really natural and comfortable."
Richardson felt the same.
"I got out of the interview, I think it was four or four and half hours or something, but it didn’t seem that long," Richardson said. "That the group made me feel very comfortable in there, just talking hockey, talking the organization here, my philosophies. We went through a little bit of video analysis in how I would deal with it and going forward, I just felt it went really well. But when you go home, you don’t know how it felt on the other side."
During his introductory press conference on Wednesday, Richardson peeled back the curtain on the rest of his interview process with the Blackhawks, who flew Richardson to Chicago a few weeks ago after receiving permission from Montreal GM Kent Hughes. This is where the story gets interesting.
"So, it was a typical interview process and then I got a call from Kyle that the group would like me to come back," Richardson said. "I came back about a week ago and he said, ‘We’re going to keep it casual, maybe get more depth into some of the areas we first hit.’ Same thing, I thought it went well again, and that evening, we had booked dinner. I’m like, ‘Well, I’m not sure that’s normal in an interview process,’ but I thought it was very smart.
"We actually went out and watched a game in the Stanley Cup Final, and I think it was great for them to see and have discussions about certain situations on the ice, what I thought and how you deal with it. I thought it went great again so, I felt very comfortable, confident on how things went.
"And Kyle said, ‘I think we’re going to meet one more time tomorrow morning.’ I walked back to the hotel thinking, ‘Well, that’s got to be good.’ And I wasn’t sure. Then I started overthinking and I go, ‘Maybe they’re going to call me in and say thanks very much for coming, see ya next time.’ But it worked out and Kyle presented it to me in a way that I felt was the right fit — not a good fit, it was the right fit.
"Very comfortable with each other in supporting each other going forward on the direction the management and organization want to go, and I feel that I can deliver in that area and I’m confident and just not comfortable, but I feel it’s the right fit."
It's funny to hear the parallels between Davidson's pursuit for the permanent GM gig and Richardson's for the permanent head coaching job, because in both cases, neither of them knew where exactly they stood throughout their respective individual processes. Or a better way to say it, Davidson and Richardson each assumed things were going well but they just weren't quite sure how the Blackhawks leadership group felt until they were actually given offers.
There was a lot of overthinking and overanalyzing, and rightfully so. Now, the two of them can do that together as they embark on a rebuild and begin their partnership with the Blackhawks.