Don Granato leaves Wisconsin coaching staff, named new assistant with NHL’s Blackhawks

Wisconsin associate head coach Don Granato has accepted an offer to become an NHL assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Granato was hired prior to the 2016-17 season.

“We came here with three head coaches and there’s only one head coach on each bench,” UW head coach Tony Granato said in a news release. “The situation that Donny’s going to be in is a great opportunity. What Donny can add to a team is why he was pursued by them as aggressively as he was.”

Granato worked with Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville when the two worked for the St. Louis Blues in 2005-06.

Quenneville also has close ties with Tony Granato, the two having worked together when they were on staff with the Colorado Avalanche in the mid-2000s.

“My plan was not to leave after one year and I wouldn’t have left after one year if I didn’t think we’re in the position we’re in,” Don Granato added.

“There could potentially be other opportunities, whether it be it the NHL or a position in another league,” Tony Granato said of his assistants. “We have to understand those guys are going to be attractive to other organizations.

“That’s a great compliment to them. It’s a great compliment to our program.”

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