The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/14/14 at 12:50 PM ET
Updated 3x at 5:27 PM: Well this escalated quickly. First, TSN's Darren Dreger reported that Tom Renney's officially leaving the Red Wings to become Hockey Canada's president, and now he's reporting that former Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato will join the Wings as one of Mike Babcock's assistants:
The Pittsburgh Penguins had a handy-dandy bio of Granato up prior to his firing, and he possesses a very solid resume:
Tony Granato is in his fifth season on the Penguins coaching staff. Granato will also serve as assistant coach under head coach Dan Bylsma for Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Granato, among his responsibilities with the Penguins, works with the team’s forwards and penalty killing units. He oversaw the NHL’s No. 1-ranked penalty killing unit (86.1 percent) in 2010-11 - the best mark in team history. During the 2013 playoffs, the PK posted a franchise-best 92.3-percent success rate.
Prior to joining the Penguins, Granato spent six seasons with the Colorado Avalanche and served two stints as Avalanche head coach (2002-04 and 2008-09). Granato compiled a 104-78-17-16 record and led Colorado to a Northwest Division title in 2003.
Granato, 48, joined the Avalanche organization in June, 2002, as an assistant coach. He was elevated to head coach Dec. 18, 2002 and led the club to a 32-11-4-4 mark en route to its ninth consecutive division title. The following season Granato steered the club to a 40-22-13-7 finish and Western Conference semifinals appearance.
The Downers Grove, Illinois native served as an assistant coach for the Avalanche from 2005-08. He was promoted to a second tenure as head coach in 2008 and oversaw the development of a young Colorado team.
Granato played 13 NHL seasons with NY Rangers (1988-90), Los Angeles (90-96) and San Jose (96-01). In 1997, he played in the NHL All-Star Game and was the recipient of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for overcoming a near career-ending brain injury.
In 773 career NHL games, the feisty forward posted 248 goals, 492 points and 1,425 penalty minutes. He tallied 16 goals, 43 points and 141 penalty minutes in 79 career playoff games, and helped lead Los Angeles to a Stanley Cup Final berth in 1993.
Granato played four seasons at the University of Wisconsin and was inducted into the Badgers’ Hall of Fame in 2000. He also played for the U.S. National Team in 1987-88 and represented his country in the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary.
Tony and his wife, Linda, are the parents of four children and reside in the South Hills.
Quick update: he's a yeller. And he's Landon Ferraro's step-uncle:
Update: It appears that this has been in the works for some time:
Update #3: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan confirms...
Assistant coaches were coming and going Monday with the Red Wings.
Tom Renney, an associate head coach to Mike Babcock, will be announced as Hockey Canada's new president Tuesday in Calgary.
But the Red Wings added Tony Granato, recently an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins, leaving them one assistant short for coach Mike Babcock's staff.
Bill Peters left the Red Wings last month to become head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Granato had been on Dan Bylsma's staff with the Penguins since 2009 but was let go when Bylsma was replaced last month. Granato also has been a head coach with the Colorado Avalanche.
Renney, who has been a head coach with the Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers, was rumored to be a leading contender for several openings the past few months.
As does WXYZ....
According to a report from TSN's Darren Dreger, the Red Wings have hired Tony Granato as an assistant coach.
Granato will replace Tom Renney, who is expected to be introduced Tuesday as the new president of Hockey Canada. Renney spent the past two seasons in Detroit.
Granato has spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He served as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche during two stints from 2002-2004 and 2008-2009, working as an Avalanche assistant in between.
And MLive's Brendan Savage...
"When I talked to Tony, I was thoroughly impressed," Babcock said Monday after news broke that he would be hiring the former Colorado Avalanche bench boss to replace Bill Peters. "I was thoroughly impressed. The sequence of events I go through (is) No. 1, you have to be a real good person. No. 2, you got to love hockey. And then No. 3, you got to be a coach. That's kind of the order for me. A real good person, 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's an impressive guy.
"No. 1, he has vast experience as a player and a coach," Babcock said. "He loves the game. I talked to both (Pittsburgh's Sidney) Crosby and (Chris) Kunitz about him. I talked to (Pittsburgh's) strength coach, Mike Kadar, about him. I talked to (former Penguins G.M.) Ray Shero about him. Ringing endorsements.
"It was an interesting process. 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. It worked out well."
Who asked Babcock where he's going in terms of replacing Renney:
"That's a real good question," Babcock said. "When I hired him, he was going to run the back end and do the penalty kill. Was that perfect? He was a forward. No. In saying all that, I hired the best coach I could find. Now, I'm going to do the same thing (in replacing) Renney. Does Tony's job end up different? I can't tell you that for sure."
The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Babcock about Granato, too:
The Wings can't formally announce the Granato hiring until sorting out his release from his current employer, the Pittsburgh Penguins, but Babcock raved about the pending hire.
"He has lots of appeal," Babcock told the Free Press. "He's a former head coach, he played in the NHL. I'm told he's fantastic. I checked around the league, everyone told me he did a great job. I know there were other teams trying to hire him.
"I think he's a real good fit for me. I was looking for a guy who is a good player guy, who can help the younger guys, and who can help me be a better coach."
Granato, who turns 50 later this month, is a former player turned coach. After retiring in 2001 having played nearly 800 NHL games for the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, he joined the Colorado Avalanche as an assistant in 2002. He was the head coach by mid-December, staying in the job until 2003, when he once again became an assistant with the team. He regained the head coaching title in Colorado in 2008, holding it for a year before being fired. He joined the Penguins in the summer of 2009.
Granato was hired to replace Bill Peters, who took the head coaching job in Carolina earlier this summer. With that in mind, Babcock said he originally had Granato slated to perform Peters' former duties - run the defense and penalty kill - but that might change now that Renney has departed. Renney ran the offense and power play.
Babcock said he didn't have a runner-up in case Granato rejected the Wings, so now that there's a second hire to be made, Babcock is tearing up previous vacation plans and figuring out what's next.
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