The Blackhawks have made good on their word to keep popular former interim coach Derek King in the organization.
King was named Monday an assistant coach on new head coach Luke Richardson’s staff, a fascinating placement that should nonetheless work smoothly because of King’s complete lack of ego.
Former Bruins assistant Kevin Dean was also hired an assistant, while goalie coach Jimmy Waite and video coach Matt Meacham will officially remain in their existing roles under Richardson.
“Derek has made an impact here on this organization and I’m thrilled to have someone like him on our staff,” Richardson said in a statement. “Kevin’s mind for the game and defensive focus will be an asset for us. It’s great to have the cornerstone of this coaching group finalized and we will continue to add a few pieces.”
King, 55, went 27-33-10 as interim coach last season in a fairly impossible situation, stabilizing a sinking ship and restoring locker-room morale as best he could. General manager Kyle Davidson said last month he’d work with King to find a new role for him –“Derek’s someone we really appreciate and we really value,” Davidson said –and indeed he did.
Dean, 53, played 331 games as a journeyman NHL defenseman in the late 1990s, then rose through the coaching ranks with the Devils’ and Bruins’ AHL affiliates before spending the last five years as an assistant on Bruce Cassidy’s staff with the Bruins.