Tony Granato

Badgers coach Tony Granato is scheduled to leave Wednesday for the Olympics in South Korea.

When the University of Wisconsin and Minnesota open their series at 8 p.m. Friday at the Kohl Center, it'll be 11 a.m. Saturday in South Korea for Tony Granato.

The Badgers coach, who's scheduled to leave Wednesday to be head coach of the U.S. Olympic men's hockey team, said he's going to try to keep tabs on the UW games.

But he was adamant that he won't be micromanaging from afar as associate head coaches Mark Osiecki and Mark Strobel lead the Badgers.

"They know what to do. They know how to run our team," Granato said. "So I'm 100 percent confident in that, that they know how I think and what I would do in certain situations.

"If they need me and they've got a question about a decision, they'll call me. If not, I'm not going to call them and try to have input from thousands of miles away."

After addressing the excitement of playing Minnesota, Granato had to admit that he'd like to be at the Kohl Center for the series.

"But I also know we're ready for it," he said.

Granato will miss the series against the Gophers and most likely the regular-season finale at Ohio State on Feb. 23-24.

Chryst addresses team

The Badgers heard before Monday's practice from UW football coach Paul Chryst, who offered advice and talked about former Badgers players in Sunday's Super Bowl.

Running backs Corey Clement of the victorious Philadelphia Eagles and James White of the New England Patriots both scored touchdowns. Defensive tackle Beau Allen and special teamer Chris Maragos also are on the Eagles' roster.

Chryst also sat on the Badgers' bench with Granato during practice.

Chryst, however, didn't bring along Paul Bunyan's Axe, which the UW football team has won 14 years in a row for victories against the Gophers.

The UW men's hockey team is 20-28-8 against Minnesota in the last 14 seasons.


Todd D. Milewski covers Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey and the UW Athletic Department for the Wisconsin State Journal.