DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland announced today that the team has finalized its coaching staff under new head coach Jeff Blashill. Tony Granato and Pat Ferschweiler will work behind the bench with Blashill as assistant coaches. Additionally, Chris Chelios will expand his current role with the team and join the coaching staff, Dave Noel-Bernier has been hired as video coach and Jim Bedard will return for his 19th season as goaltending coach.
Granato, 50, returns to the Red Wings bench for the 2015-16 season after helping Detroit extend its postseason streak to 24 during the 2014-15 campaign, while reaching 100 regular-season points for the 13th time in the past 14 full NHL seasons. Granato brings extensive NHL experience to the team’s coaching staff, with 13 seasons in the league as a player in addition to 10 as an assistant coach and three as a head coach. The Downers Grove, Ill., native began his coaching career as an assistant with Colorado in 2002-03 and took over as the Avalanche’s head coach midseason. Combined with a second stint in the same role during the 2008-09 season, Granato compiled a 104-78-17-16 regular-season record during his three seasons as head coach, clinching a playoff berth twice and winning a Northwest Division crown in 2003. He also served as an assistant coach for the Avalanche from 2005-08.
Prior to joining the Red Wings, Granato spent five seasons as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2009-14, helping the Penguins reach the playoffs in each of his five years, while posting 100 points four times and capturing the division title in 2013 and 2014. He also served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. A 773-game veteran as a player in the NHL, Granato totaled 492 points (248-244-492) and 1,425 penalty minutes during his career with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. He was a member of the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1989 and won the Bill Masterton Trophy in 1997. The former University of Wisconsin product also represented the United States internationally on six occasions: the 1983 and 1984 World Junior Championship, the 1985, 1986 and 1987 World Championship and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, totaling 36 points (14-22-36) in his 46-game international career.
Ferschweiler, 45, also enters his second year with the organization after working alongside new head coach Jeff Blashill with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2014-15. Ferschweiler helped the Griffins to one of the most successful seasons in the franchise’s history, posting a 46-22-6-2 regular-season mark and advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the second time in the past three seasons. He also worked alongside Blashill during the 2010-11 season with Western Michigan University, where the pair led the Broncos to their first appearance in the CCHA championship game since 1986. Ferschweiler remained in Kalamazoo for four seasons, serving as an assistant coach from 2010-13 before he was elevated to associate head coach in 2013-14. The Rochester, Minn., native began his coaching career with a dual role as head coach and general manager of Russell Stover’s under-18 team in the Midwest Elite Hockey League, winning numerous regional championships from 2004-10.
An alumnus of Western Michigan University, Ferschweiler also has eight years of professional experience as a player. He totaled 115 points (35-80-115) in 90 games with the ECHL’s Roanoke Express from 1993-95 and added 169 points (49-120-169) in 398 International Hockey League games with the Minnesota Moose, Kansas City Blades and San Francisco Spiders from 1994-00. He capped off his professional career with the London Knights of the British Ice Hockey Superleague in 2000-01. Prior to turning professional, Ferschweiler picked up 95 points (30-65-95) in 116 collegiate games at Western Michigan from 1990-93, and he was named the CCHA’s Best Defensive Forward in 1992.
Chelios, 53, has served as an advisor to hockey operations for the Red Wings since 2010-11 and has spent time in Grand Rapids mentoring the organization’s young defensemen. In his new role as a member of the coaching staff, Chelios will evaluate in-game player performance and offer his insight and observations to Red Wings bench coaches. He will also continue to play a role in player development, by working on-ice with the team’s defensemen during practices. The Chicago, Ill., native also accepted a position with USA Hockey and will serve as an assistant coach at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland, this December and January.
The former defenseman spent 26 seasons in the NHL, playing 1,651 NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers, winning the Stanley Cup once with Montreal (1986) and twice with Detroit (2002 and 2008). A 2014 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Chelios is a three-time Norris Trophy winner (1989, 1993 and 1996) and a five-time NHL First-Team All-Star (1989, 1993, 1995, 1996 and 2002). He totaled 948 points (185-763-948) and 2,891 penalty minutes during his NHL career, adding 144 points (31-113-144) and 423 penalty minutes in 266 career postseason appearances. His numerous international appearances are highlighted by a 1996 World Cup gold medal and a 2002 Olympic silver medal, and the four-time Olympian recorded 72 points (19-53-72) over his 120 games with the United States.
Noel-Bernier, 39, spent the 2014-15 season alongside Blashill and Ferschweiler as an assistant coach with the Griffins. The Montmagny, Quebec, native has numerous connections to Michigan, as he served as an assistant coach for the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks from 2010-13 and spent the 2013-14 season working with multiple youth hockey organizations in West Michigan. Noel-Bernier started his coaching career with his alma mater, the University of Nebraska-Omaha, acting as director of hockey operations, video coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2007-10. As a player, the former forward spent two seasons with the Muskegon Fury in the United Hockey League in 2003-04 and 2006-07 and spent three seasons playing professionally in Germany for EA Kempten, SC Riessersee and EHC Munchen. He played collegiately at Nebraska-Omaha, recording 52 points (26-26-52) in 140 games and was a 2001 CCHA All-Academic Team member as well as a three-time selection as UNO’s Student-Athlete of the Year.
Bedard, 58, returns for his 19th season with the organization as goaltending coach, working with the team’s goaltenders at every level within the system, including Detroit, Grand Rapids and Toledo. He also scouts goaltenders currently playing in the minors, as well as the junior and collegiate ranks. He has contributed to three Stanley Cup championships with the Red Wings in 1998, 2002 and 2008. Bedard spent five seasons with the Washington Capitals organization as a goaltender, spending two seasons at the NHL level. He spent the majority of his North American playing career with the AHL’s Hershey Bears, but also saw time with the Cincinnati Stingers (CHL), Rochester Americans (AHL), Tulsa Oilers (CHL) and Dayton Gems (IHL). Following his time with Washington, he spent 14 seasons playing for TPS in Turku, Finland. He also previously served as a goaltending coach for the OHL’s Niagara Falls Thunder and an assistant coach for the Erie Otters, while serving as a consultant for various elite league European teams.