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Newz Forum: HOCKEY: Avs To Dump Granato, Hire Quenneville

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posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 01:34 PM
SCARBOROUGH, Ontario (AP) - Former St. Louis Blues coach Joel Quenneville has been hired to replace Tony Granato as coach of the Colorado Avalanche.

Granato, who coached the Avalanche since 2002, will revert to his former position as assistant coach, team spokesman Hayne Ellis said early Wednesday.

Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix scheduled a news conference for Wednesday afternoon to announce the changes.

Quenneville previously was an Avalanche assistant under coach Marc Crawford in 1995-96 and played a role in the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship.

Quenneville was the Blues coach from January 1997 until this past February, when he was fired during a slump in which his team won four of 16 games and struggled to make the playoffs.

In five of his six full seasons behind St. Louis bench, Quenneville led his team to at least 40 regular-season wins. His teams won 307 regular-season games, but went 34-34 in the postseason.

Granato, meanwhile, was hired to replace Bob Hartley in December 2002. The move surprised hockey fans because, at that time, Granato had only three months of coaching experience as an assistant and was two years removed from his playing days.

A report in March that Quenneville would replace Granato was vehemently denied by Lacroix, who cited Granato's record.

In January, when Granato reached his 100th game as head coach, he had the best winning percentage in franchise history with a 60-22-12-6 record.

Colorado beat Dallas in the first round of the playoffs, but was eliminated after scoring just seven goals in six games against the San Jose Sharks. Granato's record as coach is 72-33-17-11.

Last month, Lacroix said Granato, who has one year left on his contract, would return for his second full season.

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