Blackhawks new Assistant Coaches

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Blackhawks new Assistant Coaches

Postby Mike » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:56 pm ... story.html

Blackhawks hire Don Granato, Ulf Samuelsson as assistant coaches
Don Granato

Don Granato was named the coach of the Chicago Wolves on July 30, 2008. (Phil Velasquez / Chicago Tribune)
Chris HineChris HineContact ReporterChicago Tribune

Joel Quenneville has two new assistants in place for next season after the Blackhawks made a pair of rumored hires official Thursday, naming Ulf Samuelsson and Don Granato to Quenneville's coaching staff.

They replace Mike Kitchen, whom the Hawks fired in April.

"The addition of Ulf and Don bolsters an already veteran coaching staff," general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. "They will join Joel, Kevin (Dineen), Jimmy (Waite) and Matt (Meachem) to form a staff that I believe is the best in the NHL."

The Tribune reported last month Samuelsson, 53, was expected to join Quenneville, his former teammate with the Hartford Whalers. An NHL defenseman for 16 seasons, Samuelsson is leaving his position as coach of the AHL's Charlotte Checkers to join the Hawks.

"This is a great opportunity to join a franchise that not only is historically popular, but has also had a lot of great success recently," Samuelsson said.

Granato, 49, a Downers Grove native, most recently was associate head coach at Wisconsin under his brother Tony after spending five seasons as head coach of the U.S. National Team Development Program. He also served as an associate head coach with the U.S. junior team in 2015.

"I'm happy to be back in Chicago," Granato said. "However, it is the challenge of the Blackhawks' mandate of future success that motivates me most."

Granato was head coach of the AHL's Worcester IceCats, then a Blues affiliate, for five years while Quenenville was the Blues coach and spent a season as a Blues assistant. He was named AHL coach of the year in 2001 and coached the Wolves from 2008 to 2010.

During his playing career, Granato helped Wisconsin win the 1990 national title.
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