The St. Louis Blues today announced that the club has named Don Granato as an assistant coach. Granato has served as the head coach of the primary affiliate of the St. Louis Blues since the 2000-01 season.
While at the helm of the Worcester IceCats of the American Hockey League over the past five years, Granato compiled a record of 192-144-46 (.563), serving until he was diagnosed late last season with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
With the Blues, Granato will serve under head coach Mike Kitchen and alongside fellow assistant coach Curt Fraser. “It’s a great opportunity for us to recognize an individual who has been an integral part of the organization for a long time,” said Pleau. “Don brings a keen knowledge of our system, and possesses a tremendous track record as both a coach and a player, winning everywhere he has gone in this game. He comes from a family with a strong hockey tradition.”
Granato’s most successful season with Worcester came in his first year as an AHL head coach in 2000-01 when he led the IceCats to a franchise-record 48 victories and the best regular-season record in the AHL, earning Granato the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s coach of the year.
While in charge of the Blues’ top prospects, Granato was instrumental in the development of numerous players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League. Granato fostered the growth of 2001-02 AHL MVP Eric Boguniecki, AHL All-Rookie Team defenseman Barret Jackman and winger Justin Papineau, who finished behind only Boguniecki in the AHL scoring race that year.
Steve Pleau will continue to serve as head coach of the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen.