Head Coach Ralph Krueger started to clean up the coaching staff Friday morning as the Sabres announced the addition of two new assistant coaches, Don Granato and Mike Bales.
Granato spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks after serving as the associate head coach for the University of Wisconsin during the 2016-17 season. He also has extensive experience as a coach at the national level for the United States.
From 2011-12 to 2015-16, Granato served as a head coach at the USNTDP, where he led his teams to victories at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2015 IIHF World U18 Championship. He was also an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and at the 2014 and 2018 IIHF World Championships. Granato was awarded the AHL Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award for coach of the year for the 2000-01 season.
As a player, Granato captured an NCAA Championship with the University of Wisconsin in 1990. He spent two seasons in the ECHL with Columbus, posting 90 points (26+64) in 103 career contests.
It was rumored that Bales would be joining the Sabres staff as the new goalie coach but you read this right, he has been brought on as an assistant coach. Bales announced earlier this week that he was resigning after spending the last two seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes, during which the team recorded an 82-64-18 regular-season record.
He joins the Sabres with six seasons of experience as a goaltending coach in the National Hockey League — serving most of the experience with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2011-12 to 2016-17), winning the Stanley Cup in each of his final two seasons as a member of the Penguins’ staff.
Bales played 18 seasons of professional hockey as a goaltender. He was selected by the Boston Bruins in the fifth round of the 1990 NHL Draft and appeared in 23 NHL games with the Bruins and Ottawa Senators.