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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Granato to be new Wolves coach

Don Granato is rumored to be the next Head Coach of the Chicago Wolves. Granato won the Louis A R Pieri Memorial Award in 2001 while at the helm of the Worcester IceCats. He has generally been associated with the St. Louis Blues organization. Granato was at the helm of the IceCats in 2005 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a form of cancer that spreads in the lymph nodes.

The cancer was defeated with chemotherapy at Loyola University Medical Center and a second round as part of a trial called Stanford V. Granato told the Peoria Journal Star’s David Eminian “Chemo is hard. I was sick to my stomach every moment, every day, couldn’t look at food.”

“I thought I was going to die,” Granato told the Journal Star.

Granato says he was cheered when “he looked at his Peoria championship ring, and (read) the single word Granato and the team chose to have engraved on its side panel: ‘Relentless,’” Eminian wrote.

“I looked at the ring and there was that word, and it’s what I needed,” Granato said. “When you are fighting for your own survival, you discover how much you have to live for.”

Granato led the Green Bay Gamblers to back-to-back national championships in the USHL in 1995 and 1996. He led the ECHL Peoria Rivermen to the Kelly Cup in 2000. St. Louis named him to be the first head coach of the AHL Peoria Rivermen, but removed him prior to the 2005-6 season, due to his illness. He was offered a scouting job with the organization instead.

With other members of his family, he runs a hockey camp based at Seven Bridges Hockey Rink in Woodridge, Ill. aimed at developing women’s hockey skills. The Granato family is deep into the hockey world. His sister, Cammi Granato, is the all-time leading scorer in women’s International tournament games. She captained the Gold Medal US Team at the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics. Tony Granato, his brother, is the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. Rob Granato was a captain on the University of Wisconsin hockey team. The Chicago Wolves did not return calls seeking comment.

3 comments:

Jane Rickard said...

Congrats on being the first to break the Granato story, hours ahead of the others! 11:00 AM 7/26/08 May it be the first of many.

Red Eyes said...

we need an update

Patrick Kissane said...

Hey Red Eyes,

You are correct. Rickard and I are looking forward to meeting the new coach. The blog is pretty much an outsiders view of the Wolves and the Blackhawk prospects. The pre-season camps start today in Chicago for the Wolves and we'll be there.

Normally we would be updating based on the Traverse City camps. However I was riffed from The Trib and we are watching the money.

Enough excuses-- time to start writing about hockey again.