Tony Granato Back as Head Coach in Colorado: Second Time Around the Charm?

Jason HackettAnalyst IMay 22, 2008

The Colorado Avalanche announced that their short search for a new head coach is over. They came to terms with one of their current assistant coaches Tony Granato to replace Joel Quenneville. The problem is that this isn't his first stint as head coach with the Avs.

Under Granato's tutelage, the Avalanche had a great regular season post of 100 points or more, but failed to make it past the first round in 2003 and the second round of the playoffs in 2004. Considered a failure in terms of postseason results, the Avalanche demoted Granato back to assistant coach.

So what will be any different this time around? Probably not a whole lot compared to this season, especially with how unpredictable the Northwest division is these days.

Last season the difference between first and fifth in the NW division was just 10 points. You go on a hot streak you move up to first, you loose a couple you drop out of the playoffs. Not an easy going division by any means.

If you also look at the Avalanches today compared to 2004, as Tanguay is gone, Sakic is getting old and probably won’t put up the same numbers as before. Hejduk is very unpredictable as per his seasonal performance, and Forsberg isn't able to dress every game. Blake is gone and Foote isn't the same as before.

The fire power isn't there as it once was, and unless they make a splash in the free agent market, there won't be much change in that standard. A big upside though is their defensive play combined with Theodore's return to his Vezina trophy self and the excellent play of Budaj will be a force to be reckoned with next season.

The big problem I have is the fact that he was fired four years ago for a reason. He wasn't able to bring his troops to the next level as in a cup.

So four years later, what has changed? Is he a better coach then Quenneville? I don't think so; mind you we only have two seasons of head coaching experience to draw from. I believe the Avalanche pulled the trigger too quickly with Quenneville and even quicker to promote Granato for the second time in his stint with Colorado.