Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Detroit Red Wings add assistant Tony Granato to coaching staff

Tony Granato
Tony Granato filled Mike Babcock’s checklist.
Not coincidentally, he also filled an opening on Babcock’s Detroit Red Wings coaching staff.
Babcock, the Wings’ coach, hired Granato as an assistant Monday on what was a busy day for the team’s staff.
Tom Renney, who had been Detroit’s associate head coach, was named president of Hockey Canada.
Granato had been an assistant to Dan Bylsma in Pittsburgh, but was let go when the Penguins replaced Bylsma last mont.
“He’s an impressive guy,” Babcock said of Granato, 49, who filled the vacancy created when Bill Peters left last month to become head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Babcock has a list against which he measures staff candidates.
He wants a “real good person” who must “love hockey” and have coaching experience.
“That’s kind of the order for me,” Babcock said.
Granato, a former NHL player, completed the hat trick.
“He’s a real good person,” Babcock said. “He’s got four kids in college. He talks about his family like they’re more important than hockey, which is what it should be.
“He has vast experience as a player and a coach. He loves the game.”
Babcock talked to the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, and to former Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero, about Granato.
“They all gave him ringing endorsements,” Babcock said. “I was surprised we could get him.
“He met with three other teams first. We let him do that. We were excited he chose to be a Red Wing.”
Granato scored 248 goals in 774 career NHL games before retiring in 2001.
He was head coach of the Colorado Avalanche on two different occasions, for a total of 215 games over three seasons.
Renney was on Babcock’s staff the last two seasons.
Babcock said he’ll apply his checklist when seeking candidates for Renney’s job.
With Hockey Canada, Renney will replace Bob Nicholson as president.
The Canadian Olympic men’s team has won consecutive gold medals. The Canadian women’s team has won gold medals as the last four Olympic games.



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