The Buffalo Sabres announced on Tuesday that former Green Bay Gamblers head coach Don Granato has been named the team’s head coach. Granato joined the Sabres as an assistant coach during the 2019-20 season. He took over as interim coach on March 17, 2021, leading the Sabres to a 9-16-3 record. Granato joins Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay) as NHL head coaches with Gambler ties.
Granato was the first head coach in Gamblers team history. The former University of Wisconsin standout, was behind the Gamblers bench for three seasons (1994-97), leading the team to two National Championships (1995-96 & 1996-97), two Anderson Cups (1995-96 & 1996-97) and a Clark Cup (1995-1996). After Green Bay, Granato coached in the ECHL, AHL, USHL, collegiate level and the NHL as an assistant with St. Louis (2005-06), Chicago (2017-19) and Buffalo (2019-21).
Granato becomes Buffalo’s sixth coach since Lindy Ruff was fired a month into the lockout-shortened 2013 season. He takes over a team that finished last in the overall standings for a fourth time in eight seasons and extended its playoff drought to 10 years, matching the NHL’s longest streak.