Ulf Samuelsson and Don Granato hired as assistant coaches for the Blackhawks

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OTTAWA - OCTOBER 26: Ulf Samuelsson of the Phoenix Coyotes looks on from the players' bench during an NHL a game against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place on October 26, 2010 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – One of Stan Bowman’s vowed “changes” for the Blackhawks has come to the bench after the NHL season officially came to an end this week.

On Thursday the team announced that they’ve hired Ulf Samuelsson and Don Granato as assistant coaches under Joel Quenneville. They replace Mike Kitchen, who was let go at the end of the season.

This finishes up Quenneville’s staff for the 2017-2018 season as they join assistant coach Kevin Dineen, goaltending coach Jimmy Waite and video coach Matt Meacham.

“The addition of Ulf and Don bolsters an already veteran coaching staff,” said Bowman in a statement released by the team on Thursday morning. “They will join Joel, Kevin, Jimmy and Matt to form a staff that I believe is the best in the NHL. Ulf brings over 20 years of NHL experience and knows what it takes to be a Stanley Cup champion.

“Don has an extensive coaching background and has been successful at developing players at every level. Both have the leadership skills and experience to complement our staff.”

Samuelsson was an assistant coach in the NHL with both the Phoenix Coyotes (2006-2011) and the New York Rangers (2013-2016). Last year he was the head coach of the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, going 39-29-7-1 and qualifying for the Calder Cup Playoffs where they lost to the Chicago Wolves in the first round.

Granato comes to the Blackhawks from the University of Wisconsin hockey team where he served as an associate head coach last season for the Badgers. He served one season as an NHL assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues in 2005-2006.

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