Controversy Emerges For The Chicago Blackhawks As Luke Richardson Plans To Bench Connor Bedard

Published December 11, 2023 at 5:57 PM
BY SAMER

Controversy Emerges For The Chicago Blackhawks As Luke Richardson Plans To Bench Connor Bedard

There was a lot of concerns before the season started surrounding Connor Bedard's work ethic. Not that he doesn't work but because sometimes it seems like he works too much. Bedard often found himself on the ice for 45-60 minutes after the team's non-game practice days. Head Coach Luke Richardson has expressed confidence in Bedard's work habits but questions have risen about the young player's workload.

We are now in the dog days of the season and the Blackhawks are going through a busy schedule. Their upcoming game will be the fourth home match in six days, one of many back to back contests.

What has stood out is the lack of ice time for Connor Bedard. His minutes have dropped to under 17 minutes. Are the Blackhawks load managing Connor Bedard's minutes?


Richardson addressed these concerns :

«I think he's been skating well and he's starting to get certain aspects of the game away from the puck. He's obviously really good with the puck, but line matching at home probably plays a role in that. not really watching his minutes too much. I think I threw him out once or twice to fill in a role when Reese [Johnson] was out for a shift in the penalty box and stuff like that, I think also games when they're close and we have the lead, I think we've been using guys like Dickinson's line and Tyler Johnson and [Philipp] Kurashev, guys like that who have more experience to play in a 5-on-6 situation at this level. He's not probably going to be part of that equation yet, but he's a great player and he has a good hand-eye coordination with stick abilities that at some point, we'd like him to be involved in that. but right now, that probably plays into ice time as well at the end of the game.»


Balancing the desire to win with the development of young players will be an ongoing challenge for the team. Richardson has the experience to handle that as he has played in over 1400 games in the league. He has made strategic decisions in the last two games to secure back-to-back wins while prioritizing the long-term development of Chicago's emerging talents.
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Controversy Emerges For The Chicago Blackhawks As Luke Richardson Plans To Bench Connor Bedard

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