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Penguins hire Granato - 8-5-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The Penguins have hired former Avalanche head coach Tony Granato as an assistant coach. He replaces Tom Fitzgerald who returned to a front office position following last season.

In two stints as Colorado's head coach, Granato had a record of 215-104-17-16. The Avalanche suffered its worst record since moving Colorado last season whe it went 32-45-5.

Granato's most notable moment as a head coach was probably a shouting match he had with former Canucks coach Marc Crawford following Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi's attack on Avalanche forward Steve Moore in 2004:

Granato had a fairly prolific career as a player having suited up for the Rangers, Kings and Sharks between 1988 and 2001. In 774 career games, he had 492 points (248 goals, 244 assists). He hit the 30-goal mark four times.

Granato won the Masterton Trophy in 1997 after recovering from a severe head injury.

He was suspended for 15 games in 1994 after he struck Blackhawks defenseman Neil Wilkinson in the head with his stick:

EN Says: Interesting move. Things kind of caved in on Granato and the Avalanche last season with injuries and other issues. So it's probably not fair to heap all of the team's troubles on him.

It's not clear what duties Granato will inherit as assistant coach, but perhaps he can teach his players how to get under the skin of new Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger:

Hopefully, he doesn't teach penalty shots or shootouts. He couldn't even beat former Nordiques and Penguins goaltender Jocelyn Thibault:

If you needed any incentive to like Granato, he seems to have a "healthy" relationship with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock:

(Photo: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

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