Tony Granato

Last updated
Tony Granato
Tony Granato 2011-10-13.JPG
Granato in 2011
Born (1964-07-25) July 25, 1964 (age 59)
Downers Grove, Illinois, U.S.
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shot Right
Played for New York Rangers
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks
National teamFlag of the United States.svg  United States
NHL Draft 120th overall, 1982
New York Rangers
Playing career 19882001
Coaching career
Biographical details
Alma mater University of Wisconsin
Playing career
1983–1987 Wisconsin
Position(s) Left Wing
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2002 Colorado Avalanche (Asst.)
2002–2004Colorado Avalanche
2005–2008Colorado Avalanche (Asst.)
2008–2009Colorado Avalanche
2009–2014 Pittsburgh Penguins (Asst.)
2014 Team USA (Asst.)
2014–2016 Detroit Red Wings (Asst.)
2016–2023 Wisconsin
2017 Team USA
2018 Team USA
Head coaching record
Overall105–129–16 (.452) [College]
Tournaments0–1 (.000)
Accomplishments and honors
2021 Big Ten Champion
Big Ten Coach of the Year (2017, 2021)

Anthony Lewis Granato (born July 25, 1964) is an American former professional ice hockey left winger and former head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers men's ice hockey team. He served as head coach of the United States men's national ice hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Previously, he also served as head coach of the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Colorado Avalanche, as well as with the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins as an assistant coach. [1]


Playing career

New York Rangers

Following high school, Granato was drafted by the New York Rangers in the sixth round, 120th overall, in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft. After a college career at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Granato made an immediate impact in his first season with the Rangers in 1988–89, leading the team in goals scored (36), which still stands as the team record for goals by a rookie. In what Rangers at the time called "the biggest [deal] in club history", Granato was traded with teammate Tomas Sandström to the Los Angeles Kings on January 20, 1990, in exchange for center Bernie Nicholls. [2]

Los Angeles Kings

Granato continued to be a prolific goal scorer with the Kings and was a key player in their run to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, contributing 17 points over the course of the playoffs. [3] [4] During a February 9, 1994, game in Los Angeles, Granato, after receiving a hard hit from the Chicago Blackhawks' Neil Wilkinson, retaliated by hitting Wilkinson in the head with a two-handed slash. Granato was subsequently suspended by the NHL for 15 games. As of 2012, this was the seventh-longest suspension in NHL history. On January 25, 1996, Granato suffered a serious head injury in a game against the Hartford Whalers that resulted in a bleeding on the left lobe of his brain. [5] He underwent surgery and although there was speculation he would not play again, he returned to the ice in the 1996–97 NHL season after being traded to the San Jose Sharks. [6]

San Jose Sharks

Granato returned to the ice in the 1996–97 NHL season with San Jose. Due to concerns of further brain injury, Granato wore a specially padded helmet as a precautionary measure. [7] He had a productive first season in San Jose registering 25 goals and 15 assists in 76 games. In 1997, Granato received the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. However, his productivity steadily declined, with only 59 collective points in his remaining four seasons with the Sharks. [8] He retired as a player after the 2001 season.

Coaching career

Granato joined the Colorado Avalanche as an assistant coach prior to the 2002–03 NHL season. After a sub-par start to the season, the Avalanche fired head coach Bob Hartley on December 18, 2002, and Granato was subsequently promoted to replace him. [9] Following the slow start under Hartley, the Avalanche went 32–11–4–4 under Granato and captured their ninth consecutive division title (including one title as the Quebec Nordiques). However, they lost in the first round of the 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs to the Minnesota Wild in seven games after a 3–1 series lead. In his first full season behind the bench, Granato led Colorado to a 40–22–20 record, finishing second in their division. During the 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Avalanche defeated the Dallas Stars in five games in the quarter-finals, but lost to the Sharks in six games in the semi-finals.

After the disappointing playoff loss to the Sharks, Granato was replaced by Joel Quenneville. Granato was reassigned and agreed to stay on as an assistant, [10] holding that position for three seasons. On May 22, 2008, Granato was renamed head coach of the Avalanche after the departure of Quenneville for the 2008–09 NHL season. [11] [12] The Avalanche posted a record of 32–45–5, the worst since the team moved from Quebec in 1995, and Granato was fired on June 5, 2009. [13] [14]

On August 5, 2009, Granato joined the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Penguins, signing on as an assistant coach. Granato guided the Penguin's defense (2.49 goals against per game, tenth) and penalty killing (85.0 percent, fifth) to top-ten league finishes during the 2013–14 NHL season. [1]

On June 25, 2014, it was announced the Penguins would not retain their coaching staff for the 2014–15 season. [15]

On July 15, 2014, Granato was hired as an assistant coach for the Detroit Red Wings. [16]

On March 30, 2016, Granato was named the head coach at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin–Madison. [17] [18]

On August 4, 2017, Granato was announced as the head coach for the United States national team during the 2018 Winter Olympics. [19] His team eventually placed seventh. [20]

On March 6, 2023, University of Wisconsin Director of Athletics Chris McIntosh announced that Granato would not return for the 2023-24 season. [21]

College Coaching Record

Statistics overview
Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten)(2016–2023)
2016–17 Wisconsin 20–15–112–8–02nd Big Ten Runner-Up
2017–18 Wisconsin 14–19–48–13–36th Big Ten Quarterfinal
2018–19 Wisconsin 14–18–59–10–5–25th Big Ten Quarterfinal
2019–20 Wisconsin 14–20–27–15–2–27th Big Ten Quarterfinal
2020–21 Wisconsin 20–10–117–6–11st NCAA East Regional semifinals
2021–22 Wisconsin 10–24–36–17–1T–5th Big Ten Quarterfinal
2022–23 Wisconsin 13–23–06–18–07th Big Ten Quarterfinal

      National champion        Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion        Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Personal life

Granato is the older brother of Hall of Fame hockey player Cammi Granato, and is the brother-in-law of former NHL player Ray Ferraro. Tony and his wife, Linda, are the parents of four children. Tony still has a lot of personal connections to his hometown, Downers Grove. Siblings Don, Rob, and Cammi were influenced by the Chicago Blackhawks and the 1980 Winter Olympics USA gold medal. He is now (2023) a TV analyst for both the NHL and the Chicago Blackhawks. [22]

On December 11, 2023, Granato announced that he had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and that he would be taking a leave of absence from his television career to begin treatment on the cancer that same week. [23] After a four week absence, Granato returned to broadcasting for the first time on January 7, 2024. [24]

Granato is a Christian. [24]

Awards and achievements

All-WCHA Second Team 1984–85 [25]
AHCA West Second-Team All-American 1984–85 [26]
All-WCHA Second Team 1986–87 [25]
AHCA West Second-Team All-American 1986–87 [26]
NCAA (WCHA) Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year1986–87
NHL All-Rookie Team 1988–89
All-Star Game 1996–97
NHL Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy 1996–97
United States Hockey Hall of Fame 2020 [27]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season TeamLeagueGP G A Pts PIM GPGAPtsPIM
1981–82 Northwood School HS-Prep
1982–83Northwood SchoolHS-Prep34326092
1983–84 University of Wisconsin WCHA 3514173148
1984–85 University of WisconsinWCHA4233346794
1985–86 University of WisconsinWCHA3225244936
1986–87 University of WisconsinWCHA4228457364
1987–88 United States Intl4940317155
1987–88 Colorado Rangers IHL 21131427368941316
1988–89 New York Rangers NHL 78362763140411221
1989–90 New York RangersNHL377182577
1989–90 Los Angeles Kings NHL195611451054912
1990–91 Los Angeles KingsNHL683034641541214528
1991–92 Los Angeles KingsNHL80392968187615610
1992–93 Los Angeles KingsNHL81374582171246111750
1993–94 Los Angeles KingsNHL5071421150
1994–95 Los Angeles KingsNHL3313112468
1995–96 Los Angeles KingsNHL4917183546
1996–97 San Jose Sharks NHL76251540159
1997–98 San Jose SharksNHL59169257010000
1998–99 San Jose SharksNHL3566125461122
1999–00 San Jose SharksNHL486713391201114
2000–01 San Jose SharksNHL614596541014
NHL totals7742482444921,42579162743141


YearTeamEvent GPGAPtsPIM
1983 United States WJC 74040
1984 United StatesWJC71346
1985 United States WC 942610
1986 United StatesWC82798
1987 United StatesWC923512
1988 United States OG 61784
1991 United States CC 712312
Junior totals1453810
Senior totals3910213146

Coaching record

TeamYear Regular season Post season
GWLTOTLPtsDivision rankResult
COL 2002–03 51321144(105)1st in Northwest Lost in Conference Quarterfinals
COL 2003–04 8240221371002nd in NorthwestLost in Conference Semifinals
COL 2008–09 8232455695th in NorthwestDid not qualify

See also

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  1. 1 2 Ryan Van Bibber (April 2, 2012). "Penguins Assistant Coach Tony Granato And Flyers Head Coach Peter Laviolette Fined By NHL". SB Nation . National Hockey League. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  2. Steve Springer (January 21, 1990). "Nicholls Goes to Rangers : Kings: They get right wingers Sandstrom and Granato for third-leading scorer in NHL. McNall, Vachon say it will improve defense". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  3. "1992-93 Los Angeles Kings Roster and Statistics". Hockey Reference. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  4. John Hoven (May 11, 2012). "1993: Looking back at the LA Kings vs Toronto Maple Leafs" . Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  5. Lisa Dillman (January 31, 1996). "Head Injury Puts Kings' Granato Into the Hospital". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  6. Tony Lewis Granato Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  7. Tony Cooper (September 11, 1996). "New Shark Survived A Scare / Granato suffered severe head injury". SFGate. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  8. Tony Granato NHL. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  9. "Hartley fired by Avalanche". Deseret News . December 19, 2002. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  10. "Granato will return to assistant job". . ESPN. Associated Press. July 8, 2004. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  11. "Granato named head coach". May 22, 2008. Archived from the original on January 17, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  12. "Granato introduced as head coach of Avalanche". May 22, 2008. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  13. Terry Frei (June 3, 2009). "Granato gone as Avs clean house". Denver Post. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  14. Adrian Dater (June 3, 2009). "Ex-Avs coach: "Nature of the Game"". Denver Post. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  15. Bill Roose (July 15, 2014). "Granato brings passion to Wings' staff" . Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  16. Kyle Kujawa (July 15, 2014). "Red Wings hire Tony Granato as assistant coach". Detroit Red Wings. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  17. "NCAA Hockey: Wisconsin announces head coach Tony Granato and staff". March 30, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  18. "Badgers pick Wings assistant Granato as hockey coach". Detroit Free Press . March 30, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  19. "Tony Granato to coach US men's hockey at Olympics". FOX Sports. August 4, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  20. Mary Clarke (February 21, 2018). "USA men's hockey's failure to medal in Olympics is unsurprising, but frustrating". SB Nation. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  21. "Wisconsin men's hockey will have new leadership in 2023-24". University of Wisconsin Athletic Department. March 6, 2023. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  22. Chris Kuc. "U.S. men's hockey coach Tony Granato: 'I still have a lot of Illinois in me'". Chicago Tribune . Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  23. "Ex-NHL player, coach Tony Granato diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma". ESPN . December 11, 2023. Retrieved January 6, 2024.
  24. 1 2 Keely, Sean (January 5, 2024). "Tony Granato returning to NBC Sports Chicago broadcast for 1st time since cancer diagnosis". Awful Announcing. Retrieved January 6, 2024.
  25. 1 2 "WCHA All-Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  26. 1 2 "Men's Ice Hockey Award Winners" (PDF). Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  27. "Tony Granato". United States Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 28, 2023.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Award Created
WCHA Student-Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Preceded by Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award Winner
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy Winner
Succeeded by
Preceded by Big Ten Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Sporting positions
Preceded by Colorado Avalanche head coach
Succeeded by