Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, left, argues with Colorado's Tony Granato during a 2008 game. (David Zalubowski / Associated Press)
Detroit — There's a great picture out there from the 2008 season, with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and then-Colorado Avalanche coach Tony Granato yelling at each other from their respective benches. In fact, it appears they want to go after each other
The incident came just after Colorado forward Ian Laperriere hit Nicklas Lidstrom, injuring Lidstrom's knee.
"I've gotten a lot of texts about that picture," said Granato during a teleconference Tuesday announcing his hiring as the Red Wings’ new assistant coach. "It shows the competitiveness we have, the intensity both of us have.
"It's a funny thing right now. It's one of my favorite pictures. It shows Mike's intensity, and it shows mine as well."
Granato, 49, signed for one season with an option for a second. For now, he'll be in charge of the defensemen and penalty kill, although that could change depending on who the Red Wings hire for the second assistant's job.
The Red Wings lost both Bill Peters and Tom Renney this offseason. Peters became head coach at Carolina, and Renney was named Hockey Canada president Tuesday.
Granato had been an assistant coach with the Penguins since 2009 but was allowed to leave after Grand Haven native Dan Bylsma was fired as head coach.
The possibility of working for the Red Wings excited Granato, who feels the roster is utterly capable of making a run at the Stanley Cup.
"Absolutely," said Granato, whose nephew Landon Ferraro is a Red Wings prospect on the cusp of the NHL. "If you look at what they went through last year, how they battled right to the end and compete the way they did, it was extremely impressive, one of the best years they've had while dealing with some tough situations.
"They've been able to find ways to win and compete.
"What they did last year, you look at the injuries, their best players played half the year and young players and some other players were asked to step up and play more significant roles, it really had a big impact on the season."
Before the Penguins, he was head coach of the Avalanche twice: 2002-04 (they made the playoffs both seasons), and again for the 2008-09 season.
Granato, whose younger sister is hockey hall-of-famer Cammi Granato, is 104-78-17-16 as a head coach. Before entering coaching, Tony Granato played 13 seasons in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles and San Jose.
In 773 games, Granato had 248 goals and 244 assists.
"When you look at what they've (the Red Wings) done in the past 20 years, there's no franchise that can match the consistent success they've had," Granato said. "They know how to develop players, how to win, and find the right people and personnel and fit into the organization and roster.
"Year after year, they find ways to succeed."