Av's Coach Fired

(Denver-AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche fired coach Bob Hartley Wednesday, just two seasons after he led them to their second Stanley Cup title in six years.

Team spokesman Hayne Ellis says Hartley will be replaced by assistant coach Tony Granato.

Hartley led Colorado to the 2001 Stanley Cup and four straight trips to the Western Conference finals, but couldn't get the Avalanche to break out of their early-season slump this season.

Colorado is 10-eight-nine-and-four and is fourth in the Northwest Division with 33 points.

That's 10 points behind leader Minnesota. The Avalanche have struggled the most at home, winning just three of 15 games.

Hartley, who was promoted from Hershey in 1998, is Colorado's all-time wins leader at 193-109-and-48 in four-and-a-half seasons with the Avalanche.

He was 49-and-31 in the playoffs and got the Avalanche within one game of the Stanley Cup finals last year.

Hartley was the first coach since Chicago's Billy Reay in 1967 to take his team to the conference finals his first four years.

Granato had retired in 2001 after 14 NHL seasons and was in his first season as an assistant coach.

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Tony Granato

  • Granato played 13 seasons in the NHL, beginning in 1982.

  • During his years in the NHL, he played for the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks.

  • On June 18, 2002, Granato was hired as an assistant coach for the Avalanche.

Career Statistics

  • Total goals – 248
  • Total assists – 244
  • Total penalty minutes – 1,425

Awards

  • 1989 - NHL All-Rookie Team
  • 1997 – Selected to the NHL All-Star game.
  • 1997 – Winner of the “Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy,” awarded to the player most dedicated to hockey and shows sportsmanship.

Source: A compilation of Web Reports contributed to this report.


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