Don Granato leaving Wisconsin to join Blackhawks’ coaching staff

Granato has also worked for the U.S. National Team Development Program

The Chicago Blackhawks will be adding Wisconsin associate head coach Dan Granato to their coaching staff for the 2017-18 season. Badgers head coach Tony Granato — Dan’s brother — confirmed the news to AM-1070 on Thursday, per the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc.

Granato, who was born in Downers Grove, Ill., joined Wisconsin’s coaching staff in 2015 after five years working with the U.S. National Team Development Program. He also played with the Badgers from 1988-91, filling the role of captain during his senior year.

Through his gig with the U.S. hockey program, he has worked with many of the top young American players in the game, including Auston Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, and former Wisconsin star Luke Kunin, who recently signed his ELC with the Wild.

Additionally, Granato also has experience as a head coach in the ECHL and with the AHL’s Worcester IceCats, who he coached from 2000-05.

The addition of Granato should fill out the Blackhawks’ coaching staff for next season. Joel Quenneville is back as head coach with Granato, Kevin Dineen, and Ulf Samuelsson as his assistants, plus Jimmy Waite as goaltending coach and Matt Meacham as video coach.

Quenneville reportedly was not happy when GM Stan Bowman fired assistant Mike Kitchen, one of his close friends, following the season. All indications are that the Samuelsson hiring is being made primarily with Q in mind, and that a third assistant added to the staff would be picked by Bowman. Granato appears to be that guy, as the Blackhawks’ leadership tries to compromise on its staff for next season.