The University of Wisconsin Men’s Hockey team is coming off a 14-20-2 (7-15-2-2 B1G) 2019-20 campaign.
The 2020-21 season with be a big season for head coach Tony Granato who’ll be entering his fifth season at the helm of the program. Granato has a 62-72-12 (.466) record in four years with the Badgers. UW hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament under Granato or hosted a Big Ten Tournament game. The Badgers are 36-46-9 (.445) in Big Ten play under Granato.
Granato said he will keep scheduling big names for the non-conference. Denver and Minnesota-Deluth are among those on the 2020-21 slate.
On a young team starting last season with Boston College and Minnesota-Deluth in the opening two weekends, Granato said: “Was that the right way to break freshmen into College Hockey? I think it was. But it’s also asking a lot of 18-year-old players to play against that type of schedule as freshmen.”
UW players have been asking to get back on the ice and when they can do so. “Our message has been all along: be patient. Enjoy your time with your family. Take care of school. You don’t need to be on the ice,” Granato has told the players.
The 2019-20 UW Men’s Hockey team set a program record for GPA in the spring at 3.49. “From a positive standpoint, they really did buckle down academically. We’re so proud of the kids because it’s a hard situation for everybody. They handled it the right way,” Granato said.
Granato gave his thoughts on the 24-team playoffs that the NHL is going straight into when it resumes play. “This might be the best playoff ever played because the players are now fresh and rested and healthy. A normal season, you play 82 games, you’re beat up, you’re dragging.