Badgers' Tony Granato to coach US men's hockey at 2018 Olympics

PLYMOUTH, Mich. -- Wisconsin's Tony Granato will coach the U.S. men's hockey team at the 2018 Olympics, the first Winter Games without NHL players since 1994.

AHL players will be permitted to compete, potentially opening the door for a reunion between Granato and former Badgers star Luke Kunin, who signed with the Minnesota Wild earlier this year, but is expected to start the season in the AHL.

U.S. college players, as well as those playing abroad in European leagues, are likely candidates to fill out the rest of the roster.

Detroit Red Wings executive Chris Chelios, Yale coach Keith Allain, Boston University assistant Scott Young and former Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston will make up Granato's staff. Longtime USA Hockey executive Jim Johannson will serve as general manager.

USA Hockey announced the appointments at a news conference Friday.

Granato was an assistant under Dan Bylsma at the 2014 Olympics. The former NHL forward coached the Colorado Avalanche for parts of three seasons and has been an assistant with Colorado, Pittsburgh and Detroit.

Hereturned to Madison last year to coach the Badgers, guiding Wisconsin to a 20-15-1 record in his first season at the helm.

Johannson was on the management staff for the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Olympics and has been GM for the world juniors and world championships.