Sports Outside the Beltway

Colorado Avalance choose Tony Granato as their next coach

This is one of the most bizarre strategems I’ve ever seen as a sports fan. Demote your coach back in 2004 to being just an assistant, then re-name him head coach in 2008.

DENVER — Tony Granato returned as coach of the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, four years after he was demoted from the job.

Granato will take over from Joel Quenneville, who parted ways with the Avalanche two weeks ago by mutual agreement.

Granato was 72-33-17-11 when he led the team from 2002 to 2004. He has been an assistant coach since July 2004, when the Avs hired Quenneville.

George Steinbrenner used to shuffle Billy Martin, Bob Lemon, and others in and out as New York Yankee manager, but I never recall any of them stepping down to being a coach and then getting the manager’s job back.

The Avalance have been one of the more successful NHL franchises over the last 15 years. So I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt in their re-hiring Granato.

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