UMD’s Derek Plante talks rejoining Blackhawks staff, future for Hermantown hockey family

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The initial news was shared on Friday, but Monday the Blackhawks made it official announcing they have hired University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) men’s hockey associate head coach Derek Plante as their newest assistant coach.

Plante will now return to Chicago after just two seasons away having served as their player development coach from 2015-2020.

“I got the call last week, maybe Wednesday or so, just to kind of see if I had any interest and my heart just started pumping right away,” Plante recalled. “As much as anything it’s a great staff, I played with all three guys there that are coaches.”

Plante skated with first year head coach Luke Richardson on the Philadelphia Flyers from 2000-2001.

He departs UMD after spending seven combined years behind the bench, including a stint as head coach Scott Sandelin’s assistant coach from 2010-2015. During his time with the Bulldogs Plante helped lead them to three NCAA tournaments and their first national title in 2011.

Their move back to Chicago however may leave some Hermantown boys high school hockey fans wondering what’s happening to the Plante boys in verbal UMD commit and senior Zam, junior Max, and freshman Victor.

“The middle one will for sure be at the development program, and the older one is most likely going to be in Chicago, he hasn’t made 100 percent a decision yet,” Derek said, referring to Max’s future with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program in Plymouth, Michigan and Zam’s potential to join the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Chicago Steel.

“The younger one is willing to have an opportunity. It’s his second year bantam here in Hermantown but it’s kind of a good year for us to all experiment and see how it works and go from there.” Derek said there is potential for his son to return to Hermantown.

They’ll make the move to Chicago with mom and wife Kristi, a former UMD basketball and softball star, sometime next month.