Former ECHL player and coach Don Granato was named interim head coach of the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday while former ECHL players Matt Ellis and Dan Girardi joined the team's staff as assistant coaches.
Granato recorded 90 points (26g-64a) in 103 games with the Columbus Chill during the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons. He then spent three seasons as a head coach in the ECHL, leading the Chill from 1997-99 and the Peoria Rivermen during the 1999-00 season, posting an overall record of 117-74-19 and leading Peoria to the 2000 Kelly Cup title with a 4 games to 2 win over Louisiana in the Kelly Cup Finals. He went on to serve as a head coach with Worcester and Chicago in the American Hockey League, has served as an assistant coach in the NHL with Chicago (2017-19) and Buffalo (2019-21).
Ellis made his pro debut in the ECHL with the Toledo Storm in 2002-03, picking up 59 points (27g-32a) in 71 games. He went on to appear 356 career games in the NHL with Detroit, Los Angeles and Buffalo, totaling 49 points (21g-28a).
Girardi tallied five points (1g-4a) in seven games with the Charlotte Checkers in 2005-06 on his way to a 927-game career in the National Hockey League with the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay, where he compiled 264 points (56g-208a).