The Chicago Blackhawks have hired two new assistant coaches, as Ulf Samuelsson and Don Granato will join Joel Quenneville’s staff next season.
“the addition of Ulf and Don bolsters an already veteran coaching staff,” Blackhawks G.M. Stan Bowman said. “Both have the leadership skills and experience to complement our staff.”
Samuelsson, who was a teammate of Quenneville’s with the Hartford Whalers in the 1980’s, previously was the head coach of the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes. He also served as an assistant coach with the New York Rangers for four seasons.
“This is a great opportunity to join a franchise that not only is historically popular, but has also had a lot of great success recently,” Samuelsson said in a statement. “To be on the bench with Joel, Kevin, Don, Jimmy, and Matt is motivating and exciting as we work to attain the highest level of success.”
Granato, a Downers Grove native, was an associate head coach with the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team. He also coached the US National Team Development Program for four seasons prior to joining the Badgers.
Granato and Samuelsson will join a coaching staff that also includes Kevin Dineen, but they will be tasked with replacing Mike Kitchen. Kitchen, who was let go after the Blackhawks were swept out of the playoffs, was a favorite of Quenneville’s, and his ouster reportedly created tension between the head coach and the front office.