‘Hawks hire Samuelsson, Granato as assistant coaches

1 Comment

Nearly two months after firing assistant coach Mike Kitchen, Chicago has found a pair of replacements.

On Thursday, the club announced that Ulf Samuelsson and Don Granato had joined the club to work under bench boss Joel Quenneville.

“The addition of Ulf and Don bolsters an already veteran coaching staff,” Chicago GM Stan Bowman said, in a release. “They will join Joel, Kevin [Dineen], Jimmy [Waite] and Matt [Meacham] to form a staff that I believe is the best in the NHL.

“Ulf brings over 20 years of NHL experience and knows what it takes to be a Stanley Cup champion. Don has an extensive coaching background and has been successful at developing players at every level. Both have the leadership skills and experience to complement our staff.”

Both new hires have history with Coach Q.

Samuelsson was teammates with Quenneville in Hartford, where the pair spent five seasons playing together. Since retiring, Samuelsson’s held a number of coaching positions — associate coach in Arizona, assistant coach with the New York Rangers and, last year, head coach of Carolina’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte.

Granato, the brother of former NHLer (and current University of Wisconsin coach) Tony Granato, has a wealth of experience coaching at the USHL, ECHL and AHL levels. His connection to Quenneville came via the Blues organization in the early 2000s — Granato was the bench boss with Worcester, the club’s AHL affiliate, while Quenneville was the head coach in St. Louis.

After Quenneville left the Blues, Granato was promoted to assistant coach in 2005-06… where he worked under Kitchen, who succeeded Q as head coach.