Derek Blunt leaves Bulldogs crew to become Chicago Blackhawks’ assistant coach – Duluth News Tribune

Duluth – Minnesota Duluth’s assistant coach Derek Bluth has not only returned to the National Hockey League, but is back at the Chicago Blackhawks after just two seasons on the bench.

A UMD source confirmed the news on Friday, with an official announcement from the Blackhawks expected to come next week.

Blunt, who was the Black Hawk’s player development coach from 2015-2020, returns to the NHL franchise as an assistant coach under first-year coach Luke Richardson. A native of Hermantown and a native of Cloquet, the 51-year-old Blunt was originally an assistant coach under Scott Sandelin at UMD from 2010-2015.

From left, Derek Blunt, Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey coach (wearing a UMD hat), Mike Search; former UMD men’s hockey coach; Curt Giles, former Bulldog and coach at Edina High School, speak Monday, August 16, 2021, at Giants Ridge in Biwabike.
Clint Austin / File / The Duluth News Tribune

During Blunt’s two spells spanning seven seasons on the UMD coaching staff, the Bulldogs presented three NCAA championships, appeared in two Frozen Fours and won their first NCAA title in 2011. The Bulldogs won the NCHC Frozen Faceoff Championship in 2022 before eventually dropping to National hero. Denver in the NCAA Regional Final in Loveland, Colorado.

Blunt played four seasons at UMD from 1989-1993 before embarking on a 15-year career that included eight seasons in the NHL and seven seasons abroad in Europe and Japan. Plant won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 and played for Richardson for the Philadelphia Flyers in 2000-01 – Plant’s final season in the NHL.

Blunt’s eldest son, Zam, is orally committed to playing a bulldog in the future. Zam Blunt, who helped Hermantown High School win the Class A state hockey championship in Minnesota as a junior in 2021-22, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins this summer in the fifth round. He will play either in 2022-23 as a senior player in Hermantown or in the United States Hockey League with Chicago Steel.

Zem’s younger brother, Max, was also part of the state championship team in Hermantown last year, as a sophomore. Max – the middle child of Derek and his wife, former Bulldogs basketball and basketball player Christy Blunt – will play next season in the USA Hockey Team Development Program, based in Plymouth, Michigan. He qualifies on Monday, August 1 to make an oral commitment to an NCAA Division I school, as are all players heading into their junior year of high school.

The Chicago Blackhawks and UMD hockey programs have become closely linked over the years, with former Bulldog All-American Finalist Norm McIver and the Hobby Baker Memorial Award serving as the team’s assistant general manager. Brigitte Lackett, a former UMD defender, is also a professional Blackhawks scout.

The Blackhawks own the rights to current Bulldogs Dominic James and Wyatt Kaiser. Kaiser, a junior defensive player, was placed in the third round of the 2020 draft while James, a sophomore center, went in the sixth round in 2022.

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