Blackhawks hire Derek King, Kevin Dean as assistant coaches

King will stay with the Hawks’ organization — in the NHL — after an admirable stint as interim coach last season.

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Blackhawks assistant Derek King yells along the bench.

Former interim coach Derek King will return after all, as an assistant, in 2022-23.

Corey Sipkin/AP

The Blackhawks have made good on their word to keep popular former interim coach Derek King in the organization.

On Monday, King was named an assistant on new coach Luke Richardson’s staff, a fascinating placement that should nonetheless work smoothly because of King’s lack of ego.

Former Bruins assistant Kevin Dean also was hired as an assistant, while goalie coach Jimmy Waite and video coach Matt Meacham will remain in their roles under Richardson.

“Derek has made an impact 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 the interim coach last season, stabilizing a sinking ship and restoring locker-room morale as best he could. 

General manager Kyle Davidson said last month at Richardson’s introduction that he’d work with King to find a new role for him, calling him “someone we really appreciate and we really value.’’ Richardson’s willingness to embrace King on his staff tells you something about his attitude, as well.

Dean, 53, played 331 games as a journeyman NHL defenseman, including two seasons with the Hawks from 1999 to 2001. He 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 in Boston.

Given King’s and Dean’s positions as players, the former will presumably oversee the forwards and the latter the defensemen as assistant coaches.

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