Tony Granato Has Seen the Signal Here: US Men’s Hockey Team, Not Team USA, Will Meet in World Cup

U.S. men’s Olympic hockey coach Tony Granato said there was speculation his team could face off against the U.S. olympic hockey team here at the World Cup of Hockey on Wednesday, and that the…

Tony Granato Has Seen the Signal Here: US Men’s Hockey Team, Not Team USA, Will Meet in World Cup

U.S. men’s Olympic hockey coach Tony Granato said there was speculation his team could face off against the U.S. olympic hockey team here at the World Cup of Hockey on Wednesday, and that the chances that it would happen were “a little bit.”

Speaking on Pardon The Interruption, host Tony Kornheiser was thrilled to hear the surprising news and asked whether Granato had heard the news earlier from an anonymous source, Granato said no, but that he and the U.S. olympic hockey team had heard a report of the possibility before the games and “we’re not mad.” The olympic hockey team’s captain, John Carlson, later confirmed the rumors on Twitter.

Granato had coached the U.S. olympic hockey team for three years before this latest stint. Not only was he originally an assistant coach, he was also the chief scout of the U.S. Olympic team for three years, before he took over the top job at U.S. Hockey during the American Hockey League’s off-season between 2014 and 2016.

“I can’t tell you what a privilege it is to coach these guys every day,” Granato said. “This game’s part of the American heritage, and the men’s game in particular. It’s a privilege to do it.”

But it was clear that he was looking forward to the day the tournament ends. “I think we’re all excited, not just myself,” he said. “The USOC wanted to put it in the World Cup, but it could be even bigger than that. When you think of the entire United States – everybody’s got a hockey stick in their hand – all the kids that have this dream, the parents that hope their kids can go to the Olympics and become successful players like these, I’m very, very excited about it.”

If the team is indeed going to play against the U.S. olympic hockey team, Granato was quick to tell ESPN that it would not be in the United States. The squad would play either against an exhibition team from Sweden or a separate Finnish squad.

“That’s my understanding,” he said. “I would not be surprised. But we haven’t been told yet.”

Granato was not the only one talking about the speculation that the World Cup could soon be a Battle of the Bands. “It’d be like the Harlem Globetrotters against the Knicks,” PFT Commenter tweeted.

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