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Granato Named Head Coach

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
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Colorado Avalanche Executive Vice President & General Manager Francois Giguere announced today the appointment of Tony Granato as the franchise’s head coach.  Granato previously served as the team’s head coach from 2002-2004.

With Granato as head coach, the Avalanche compiled a record of 72-33-17-11, giving him the top coaching mark in franchise history based on points percentage (.647).  Granato owns a .605 career winning percentage as an NHL head coach (72-44-17), the second highest in franchise history.  Among active NHL coaches, Granato ranks fifth in career winning percentage behind Bruce Boudreau (.664), Dave Tippett (.632), Randy Carlyle (.630) and Mike Babcock (.621).

“We’re extremely pleased to announce Tony Granato as the Avalanche’s head coach,” said Giguere.  “Tony has gained tremendous coaching experience over the last five seasons behind the Avalanche bench.  He has great knowledge of our depth chart, a strong admiration for our players and really enjoys working with the organization’s young and talented group of athletes.”

Granato completed his fifth season behind the Avalanche bench in 2008, his sixth year overall with the organization.  After joining the club as an assistant coach on June 18, 2002, Granato was introduced as the 11th head coach in franchise history on Dec. 18, 2002.  He compiled a record of 72-33-17-11, which included a 32-11-4-4 stretch to close out the 2002-03 season with the franchise’s NHL record ninth consecutive division title.  Granato reached the 50-win mark in 87 games, the 11th fastest mark in NHL history.

He returned to his position as assistant coach in 2005-06 and spent the last three years in that capacity.

“I’m excited about this challenge,” said Granato.  “I know this team has a great mix of youth, experience, skill and speed.  I’m looking forward to this new opportunity ahead.”

Regarded as a feisty, two-way winger, Granato enjoyed a playing career that spanned 13 seasons in the National Hockey League.  He skated in 773 regular season games with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks.  During his tenure in the NHL, he posted 248 goals and 244 assists with 1,425 penalty minutes. 

Originally drafted by the New York Rangers 120th overall in the 1982 Entry Draft, Tony spent a season and a half with the Rangers before being dealt to the Los Angeles Kings, where he played six and a half seasons, cracking the 30-goal barrier three times.  He played his final five seasons with San Jose after signing with the Sharks as a free agent in 1996.

Granato was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1989, played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1997, and won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, in 1997.

Prior to joining the professional ranks, Granato played four years at the University of Wisconsin, where he was named to the WCHA Second All-Star Team for 1985 and 1987 and to the NCAA West Second All-Star Team in the same years.  He was inducted into the University of Wisconsin’s Hall of Fame.  Granato was also a member of the 1988 U.S. National and Olympic hockey teams.

A native of Downer’s Grove, Illinois, Granato and his wife, Linda, have four children: Michael, Dominic, Nicholas, and Gabriella.  Tony’s sister, Cammi, served as captain of the gold medal winning U.S. Women’s National Hockey team at the 1998 Olympics and was a silver medalist in Salt Lake City in 2002. 
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