Richardson named B-Sens coach

The Ottawa Senators announced today that the club has named Luke Richardson head coach of its American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators.

The contract is a two-year agreement and will run through the 2013-14 season. Richardson will be joined by assistant coach Steve Stirling and video coach Matt Meacham.

Richardson, 43, has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with his hometown Ottawa Senators. He began his coaching career following his retirement as an active player during 2008-09 campaign, joining the Ottawa coaching staff for the final three months of the season.

A 20-year NHL veteran, Richardson played in 1,417 career games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Senators, recording 35 goals, 166 assists and 2,055 penalty minutes. He added eight assists and 130 penalty minutes in 69 career NHL playoff games.

After signing with Ottawa in August of 2007, he played 78 games over parts of two seasons with the Senators, recording two goals, nine points and 43 penalty minutes. Richardson was Toronto’s first pick, seventh overall, in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.

The seventh head coach in B-Sens franchise history, Richardson replaces Kurt Kleinendorst, who coached the club the last two seasons.

Stirling, 62, returns for his third season as an assistant coach after joining the team on Aug. 26, 2010. Prior to joining the B-Sens, he coached the Iserlohn Roosters of the German elite hockey league (DEL) in 2008-09. He spent the 2007-08 season as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, following one year with the Springfield Falcons (the Lightning’s former affiliate) in 2006-07.

A native of Clarkson, Ont., Stirling spent more than three seasons in the New York Islanders’ organization from 2001-02 to 2005-06, including a season and a half as head coach of the NHL club. He started his Islanders tenure with their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, with two seasons that included a Calder Cup final appearance in the team’s inaugural campaign of 2001-02. Prior to his arrival in Bridgeport, Stirling spent three seasons as assistant coach with the AHL’s Lowell Lock Monsters.

Meacham, 29, returns to Binghamton for his fifth full season and first as both video coach and hockey administrator. He originally joined the B-Sens staff as a video coach intern in the 2007-08 season, before returning to (State University of New York) SUNY Cortland to finish his bachelor of science in sports management. Meacham was hired by the Ottawa as the full-time video coach for the B-Sens prior to the 2008-09 season.