Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Penguins name Tony Granato assistant coach

Congratulations, Tony!

Regarding Granato, Pens' head coach Dan Bylsma says:
"We are excited to have a guy who’s accomplished as much as Tony join our staff as an assistant coach. In addition to his 13 years as an NHL player, he’s also been a head coach and assistant for six years with the Avalanche, and all of that experience will make him a tremendous asset to the Penguins organization."

And here are some quotes from Granato:
"I’m just extremely excited to join an organization with such great history and get a chance to work with a staff that I’ve admired from afar with what they’ve done. I’m looking forward to being a part of it."

"To be able to jump to an organization like this that’s on the top, I feel very lucky. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to help in any way I can. I’ll do my part to help keep that going."

"I’ve gone through a lot as a player and as a coach. I love the game and being a part of it. I think all of us that play and coach want to win and want to be a part of something special."

"I’m just thankful and really looking forward to being a part of the staff, getting my family moved and being part of the community there. With what Pittsburgh’s done for so many years, the tradition, the history, to be able to join an organization that like is extremely exciting for me."
Regarding how Granato may fit with the Pens coaching staff, Pensburgh says the following:

Fitzgerald worked with forwards a lot on faceoffs and penalty-killing, so presumably that may be an area that Granato, a former NHL forward, oversees.

Despite extensive coaching experience, Granato is just 45 years old, which ought to fit well with the youthful energy that Dan Bylsma (39) and Mike Yeo (36) look to keep throughout the lineup. Though he had some rocky seasons towards the end of his run with Colorado, Granato didn't have too much to work with roster wise. It'll be interesting to see how he fits in Pittsburgh and also if this will be a springboard for him to get another head coaching gig somewhere in the NHL.