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Blashill, Granato, Hastings Named Assistant Coaches For Men's National Team

By USA Hockey, 04/14/22, 11:45AM EDT

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Team USA to compete in 2022 IIHF Men's World Championship May 13-29 in Finland

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Jeff Blashill (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich./Detroit Red Wings), Don Granato (Downers Grove, Ill./Buffalo Sabres) and Mike Hastings (Crookston, Minn./Minnesota State University) have been named assistant coaches, and Mike King (Center Conway, N.H./Ottawa Senators) video coach, for the 2022 U.S. Men’s National Team it was announced today by USA Hockey.

Team USA will compete in the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship May 13-29 in Tampere and Helsinki, Finland, with David Quinn previously announced as the squad’s head coach.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have the vast experience this group of coaches brings to the table,” said Ryan Martin, general manager of the 2022 U.S. Men’s National Team and also the assistant general manager of the NHL’s New York Rangers. “They all have been involved in international tournaments previously and we’re really happy overall with the entire staff we have in place to support our team in the upcoming world championship.”

2022 Men's Worlds Home

About Blashill

Jeff Blashill, head coach of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, will be part of the coaching staff of a U.S. Men’s National Team for the fourth time. He was the head coach of the squad for three straight years (2017-19), including a bronze-medal finish in 2018. Blashill guided the U.S. to a 19-7 mark in those three world championship with his 19 wins the most career victories for a head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team in the IIHF Men’s World Championship.

Overall, the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship marks the seventh time Blashill will be behind a U.S. bench after having also served as a goaltending coach for the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team as well as an assistant coach for the U.S. Junior Select Team that won the 2009 World Junior A Challenge and the U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team that earned second place at the 2006 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

The 2021-22 season is Blashill’s seventh season as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings and his eighth within the organization. After spending the 2011-12 campaign as an assistant coach for Detroit, Blashill then served as head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit’s AHL affiliate, from 2012-15. There, he led the Griffins to three of the most successful campaigns in history, including its first Calder Cup championship in the 17-year history of the franchise in 2012-13. For his achievements, Blashill won the Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL's most outstanding coach in 2013-14 and was named head coach for the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic.

Blashill, who was born in Detroit but grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., joined the Red Wings’ organization after 11 seasons in the collegiate ranks and two seasons in the United States Hockey League. Blashill’s coaching career began as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Ferris State University, from 1998-2002 before fulfilling the same role at Miami University for six seasons (2002-08). He then made his head coaching debut with the USHL’s Indiana Ice, compiling a 72-43-5 mark as head coach and general manager while guiding the Ice to a franchise-record 39 wins in 2008-09 and a Clark Cup title as playoff champions of the USHL. After two seasons in Indiana, Blashill returned to the NCAA as the head coach at Western Michigan University in 2010-11. In one season with the Broncos, he led WMU to double its win total from the previous season and also the school’s first appearance in the CCHA championship game since 1986.

A goaltender in his playing days, Blashill spent his collegiate career at Ferris State and was the Bulldogs’ Rookie of the Year in 1994-95, earned a spot on the CCHA All-Academic Team in 1996-97 and won FSU's President's Award in three consecutive years for having the highest grade-point-average on the Bulldogs. In 78 games over his four seasons in Big Rapids, he held a 27-36-5 record with two shutouts. He previously spent three seasons playing for the USHL's Des Moines Buccaneers, where he helped the team to a Clark Cup championship in 1992. He is one of two people in league history to win the Clark Cup as both a player and head coach. 

About Granato

Don Granato, head coach of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, is serving as an assistant coach of a U.S. Men’s National Team for third time after fulfilling the same capacity in 2018 (bronze medal) and 2014. Granato’s experience on the international stage also includes having led the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National team to gold (2015) and silver (2013) medal finishes at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship as head coach, while also serving as an assistant for the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team.

Granato also served as a head coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program from 2011-17 and during that time guided the NTDP’s U.S. National Under-18 Team to a pair of championships at the Under-18 Four Nations Tournament (2012, 2014) in addition to leading the U.S. National Under-17 Team to titles at the Four Nations Tournament (2013), World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (2013) and Under-17 Five Nations Tournament (2014). In 2012-13, Granato helped the U.S. National Under-18 Team register an 11-6-4 (W-L-T) record against NCAA Division I and III schools, the best winning percentage (.619) against collegiate opponents in the history of the NTDP.

Granato is in his first season as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. He came to the Sabres as an assistant coach in 2019-20 and was named interim head coach on March 17, 2021.

Prior to that, he spent two seasons as assistant coach of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and one season as the associate head coach with the University of Wisconsin’s men’s hockey team after his six-season stint with the NTDP.

The Downers, Grove, Ill., native’s career has also included stops as an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues (2005-06) and head coach for the Chicago Wolves (2008-10). Granato also served as head coach of the Worcester IceCats from 2000-2005, where he received the AHL’s Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the league’s most outstanding coach. He also coached three seasons in the ECHL with the Columbus Chill (1997-99) and Peoria Rivermen (1999-2000), following four seasons in the USHL with the Wisconsin Capitols (1993-94) and Green Bay Gamblers (1994-97). He led Peoria to the 2000 ECHL Kelly Cup championship and claimed the 1996 USHL Clark Cup championship with Green Bay.  

Before joining the coaching ranks, Granato played professionally for two seasons with Columbus (ECHL) from 1991-93, posting 26 goals and 64 assists in 103 career games. Collegiately, he skated four seasons (1987-91) at the University of Wisconsin, where he compiled 88 points (45G, 43A) in 162 career games highlighted by a national championship with the Badgers in 1990. 

About Hastings

Mike Hastings, head coach of the Minnesota State men’s ice hockey team, is serving as an assistant coach of a U.S. Men’s National Team for the first time, but is no stranger to international hockey.

In fact, the Crookston, Minn., will be behind the bench of a U.S. team for the seventh time, after most recently serving as an assistant coach for the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. Hastings also guided the U.S. to the silver medal at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship as head coach and was an assistant for the 2003 and 2005 U.S. National Junior Teams. In addition, he twice served as head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team, including in 2000 when Team USA won the Viking Cup.

He recently finished his 10th season as head coach at Minnesota State and guided the Mavericks to a nation-best 38 wins and a national runner-up finish. The Spencer Penrose Award recipient as the top coach in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey the past two seasons, Hastings has led Minnesota State to more wins than any other team over the past decade with a 274-96-24 mark.

His teams have advanced to the NCAA Tournament on seven occasions, including a trip to the Frozen Four the past two seasons; won eight conference regular-season titles, including an unprecedented five consecutive (2018-22); and four league post-season championships. 

The three-time NCAA Coach of the Year arrived at Minnesota State following a three-year stint (2009-12) as the associate head coach for the University of Nebraska-Omaha men’s ice hockey team. He also served as an assistant coach with the men's hockey program at the University of Minnesota (2008-09) for one season after a 14-year run (1994-2008) as head coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League's Omaha Lancers. 

During his time in Omaha, the Lancers never had a losing season as he helped the team capture three Anderson Cups (2001-02, 2004-05 (shared), 2007-08) as the league's regular-season champion and a trio of Clark Cup titles (1998, 2001, 2008) as the USHL's playoff champion. Hastings, who left the USHL as the league’s all-time winningest coach with a 529-210-56 (W-L-T) record, was named USHL Coach of the Year twice (1997, 2002) and league General Manager of the Year on five occasions (1997, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008). 

A 1993 graduate of St. Cloud State University, Hastings played two years for the Huskies (1986-88) before a back injury ended his playing career. 

About King

King will be part of the coaching staff of a U.S. Men’s National Team for the second straight year.

He has spent the last three seasons as the video coach for the NHL’s Ottawa Senators and previous to that served as video coach for the Hershey Bears of the AHL.

Prior to joining the Bears, King spent two seasons as a skills and development coach with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves.

Support Staff Named

USA Hockey also announced the following support staff for the 2022 U.S. Men's National Team, including team leader Brij Singh (Los Altos, Calif./USA Hockey); athletic trainers Stan Wong (Boca Raton, Fla./USA Hockey) and Piet VanZant (Livonia, Mich./Detroit Red Wings); equipment managers Chris Scoppetto (Hamden, Ct./New Jersey Devils), Scott Aldrich (Hancock, Mich./USA Hockey) and Brock Bradley (West Stockholm, N.Y.); team physician Dr. Sean Lynch (Omaha, Neb./USA Hockey); massage therapist Peewee Willmann (Hannover, Germany/USA Hockey), director of content Andrew Ketterer (Colorado Springs, Colo./USA Hockey), and senior director of communications Dave Fischer (Colorado Springs, Colo./USA Hockey).

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