Less than two months after his brother, Don Granato, announced he would be taking a coaching position with the Chicago Blackhawks, University of Wisconsin men’s hockey head coach Tony Granato has been chosen to coach the 2018 United States Olympic team.

The former NHL head coach has been selected to coach this year’s Olympic team before they head off to South Korea. This selection might have come as a shock to some, but considering that major changes have happened this year within the world of men’s hockey, selecting a college coach was the most logical choice for USA Hockey.

After announcing back in March that they would no longer allow their players to compete in the Olympics, the NHL majorly changed the way Olympic teams were formed. Now, instead of countries using their top professional athletes to chase that gold metal, they will need to rely more on amateur and collegiate athletes to boost their rosters instead.

Hiring an NHL head coach to coach an Olympic team would be rather inconvenient, since the coach would not have any knowledge of the athletes they would be working with. Granato is the perfect choice for this role, since he now has intimate knowledge of both collegiate hockey and the development leagues within the U.S.

It is unknown whether or not Granato will continue to coach the Badgers this year while beginning his role as the USA head coach. Typically, the U.S. men’s hockey team spends the four weeks prior to the Olympics preparing for the games.

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This schedule was primarily in place to accommodate the NHL owners, who did not want to lose their star players for a majority of the season. Without that burden on Team USA’s shoulders, it is unclear if the men will retain their same training schedule, or will adopt the older training schedule that they used to follow.

Back in the 1980s, when NHL players were not allowed to participate in the Olympics, the men’s team trained from the time that they were selected in November, with most players taking a year off from their collegiate/amateur careers to compete for their country. This is the same format that the women’s national team currently uses in their preparation for the games.

In the event that the national team only trains for the four week period prior to the Olympics, Granato will not miss much back home. During that time frame, Wisconsin only has one series against Ohio State University, which will most likely be coached by assistant coaches Mark Osiecki and Mark Strobel.

If Granato finds himself away from the team until the games are done, a third coach might be hired to temporarily fill the third coaching spot for the Badgers. It is unknown what kind of training schedule the national team will develop now that they no longer have the scheduling conflict with the NHL.

More should be known later in November, when selection for the U.S. national team begins.