Penguins' Granato to join Bylsma for Olympics
Penguins employees might have their own wing at the Olympic Village in Sochi.
Dan Bylsma, meanwhile, is bringing his wingman to Russia.
Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato, who comes from a decorated family of American athletes, was named to Bylsma's Olympic staff Tuesday.
“We have a fabulous staff,” said David Poile, the Nashville Predators' general manager who is serving the same role for Team USA.
Bylsma also will be joined behind the bench by Columbus coach Todd Richards and Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette.
“I really am excited,” Granato said. “Dan knew I was willing. I can't wait.”
Granato formerly was head coach for Colorado, meaning all four coaches on the American staff are current or former NHL coaches.
“It speaks volumes of how far American hockey has come on and off the ice,” Poile said.
There are plenty of connections within this group.
Richards is a former coach at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and has a good relationship with Bylsma. Bylsma served as a Baby Pens assistant under Richards from 2006 through '08 before becoming the team's head coach at the start of the 2008-09 season.
Laviolette participated in Granato's wedding, and they were teammates with the Rangers during the 1988-89 season. They nearly came to blows April 1, 2012, in a game at Consol Energy Center between the Penguins and Flyers.
Both since have laughed off the exchange.
“I knew the question was coming,” Granato said. “Everything with us is fine. We are going to work very well together.”
Penguins general manager Ray Shero, Poile's assistant for Team USA, said he believes the coaching staff's closeness will be helpful. He also thinks Granato is a quality addition.
“He's a student of the game,” Shero said.
“His communication skills, experience and familiarity with Dan, Peter and Todd will be a benefit in a short tournament like the Olympics.”
Penguins video coordinator Andy Saucier also will be headed to Sochi to serve in the same capacity for Team USA.
Granato, an assistant with the Penguins since 2009, played for Team USA in the Olympics and represented his country in three world championships. Granato also participated in two junior world championships and the 1991 Canada Cup.
“Tony has a great deal of experience,” Shero said, “not only as an NHL coach and player, but also being a player on the 1988 Olympic team.”
His sister, Cammi Granato, is considered among the greatest women's players in American history and was captain when Team USA claimed gold at the 1998 games.
Tony Granato said the system used in the Olympics could be different than what the Penguins use.
“It will need to be something simple,” he said. “We think we can make it work.”
Poile spoke on other topics:
• The team's orientation camp in Arlington, Va., will not include on-ice workouts because of high insurance costs. “Honestly,” he said, “it's a ridiculous number.”
• On Richland native Brandon Saad being invited to the team's orientation camp: “I don't know if it's his time yet, but he's definitely a big part of our future.”
• On the importance of orientation camp: “No one made the team in 2010 because they showed up at the camp, nor were they eliminated.”
•On Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi not being invited to the orientation camp (Poile hinted that players not invited still might be considered): “We are trying to make a decision based on who is playing best between October and December.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NHL notebook: Sharks, McLellan part ways after 7 years
- NHL notebook: Flames coach Hartley fined $50K for late-game melee
- Philadelphia Flyers fire coach after 2 seasons
- NHL notebook: Replay confirms Ottawa shot went past, not through, the net
- NHL notebook: Senators say Stone has right wrist fracture after slash
- NHL notebook: Ducks’ goaltender Gibson sits out practice
- Oilers defy odds, win NHL Draft lottery