Avalanche fire Tony Granato
The Colorado Avalanche parted ways with head coach Tony Granato and five other members of the franchise’s hockey operations staff on Wednesday.
The Avalanche also relieved assistant coaches Jacques Cloutier and Dave Barr, goaltending coach Jeff Hackett, assistant to the general manager Michel Goulet and video coordinator PJ DeLuca of their respective duties.
In another move, Greg Sherman will be named the new general manager of the club. Sherman had been serving as the team’s assistant GM.
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This comes as a surprise to no one, after the Avalanche’s fairly transparent pursuit of Patrick Roy to run the show in the Rockies. The way Granato has been treated by the Avalanche organization leaves much to be desired. Say what you will about his coaching ability, and we’ll get to that in a second, but he is a class act and always has been. He deserved better treatment throughout the past few weeks and should resurface with another organization as an assistant coach fairly quickly.
In terms of his coaching ability, I have to admit I was not a fan of Granato’s work the first time around in Colorado. I felt he didn’t play to his team’s offensive strengths and shifted around his lines far too often. However, this time around was a different story. He was never given a fair shot. Granato had to deal with injuries to centers Paul Stastny and Joe Sakic and was saddled with two netminders that would not have started on any other NHL teams last season.
When taking all of that into account, the fact Granato was released after one season behind the bench makes little sense. What were the Avalanche’s expectations last season? Obviously they didn’t think they’d be as bad as they were, but the playoffs were really not realistic. While some may point to the fact that he was Francois Giguere’s guy, and Giguere has been fired, the fact is he was Pierre Lacroix’s guy the first time around.
You have to believe Granato is better off moving on to another organization.