Buffalo Sabres Hire Don Granato as New Head Coach

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The Buffalo Sabres have announced Don Granato has been hired as their 20th head coach. No further details on the contract have been officially released just yet. However, Emily Kaplan reported on Twitter that it is a three-year deal for the former interim head coach.

Don Granato Finally Made Buffalo Sabres Head Coach

Finally, the hockey world has the name of the next Buffalo Sabres coach. Of course, this is not exactly a surprise for those who have been following this matter closely. Granato has been with the Sabres since the 2019-20 season. He was Ralph Krueger’s assistant coach and once Krueger was released from his duties, Granato took over.  The 53-year-old coach was named interim head coach after a disastrous season under the former coach and had an impossible mission on his hands. He had to turn a team with a losing culture into an average team so that they would not sink deeper. Of course, it wasn’t an easy task but he took the challenge and did his best to help them out.

On March 31, the Buffalo Sabres were set to break the longest winless streak in NHL history but they didn’t. Granato inserted a high-paced and intelligent game that granted the Sabres some wins before the season ended. There wasn’t one player in the Sabres organization who didn’t have compliments to him. The younger players were shining and happy, the older ones respected him. But Kevyn Adams, the Buffalo general manager, wanted to interview other people. Now, the final answer, which has always seemed obvious to some, was Don Granato, and the Sabres fans have a lot to be happy about.

What This Means for the Future

Granato’s coaching history goes way back to 1993 when he served the position for the USHL’s Wisconsin Capitols. He was the head coach of the St. Louis Blues‘ AHL affiliate for five seasons before getting a position as an assistant for the Blues in 2005-06. Before he went to Buffalo, Granato was an assistant for the Chicago Blackhawks.

His experience with the NHL may not be as a head coach, but what he did for the Sabres during his first season as one was great. He is confident and more importantly, he believes in his team. Granato knows his players and staff and knows what is expected from him. Of course, there may be some doubts regarding whether or not he will eventually become a Krueger, but everything points to a more positive journey. The 2021-22 Buffalo Sabres may not win the Cup but they surely have the first piece to not be the last place for another year.

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