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Don Granato named next head coach of Buffalo Sabres

June 29 (UPI) -- The Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday officially named Don Granato as the team's new head coach.

League sources told ESPN that Granato's deal with the Sabres is for three years. Buffalo confirmed the agreement, but the team didn't reveal the terms of the contract.

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Granato, who becomes the 20th head coach in franchise history, served as the Sabres' interim skipper for the final 30 games of this past season after Ralph Krueger was fired in March. Granato took over a Buffalo club that was without captain Jack Eichel and mired in an NHL record 18-game winless streak.

The Sabres eventually missed the playoffs for the 10th straight season -- the longest drought in the league.

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Granato has served as a head coach at multiple levels for nearly three decades, beginning in 1993 with the U.S. Hockey League's Wisconsin Capitols. He earned championships at the USHL (1996) and East Coast Hockey League (2000) levels and was named American Hockey League Coach of the Year in 2001.

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The 53-year-old Granato spent five seasons as coach of AHL's Worcester before earning his first NHL job as an assistant for the St. Louis Blues in the 2005-06 season. He later served as an assistant on Joel Quenneville's staff with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2017-18 campaign.

Granato initially joined the Sabres as an assistant prior to the 2019-20 season.

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The Sabres won the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery earlier this month and will be selecting at No. 1 overall for the second time in three years.

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