Coach Tony Granato returned to practice Tuesday after more than a week away from the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team while supporting his brother Don during a severe illness.
Don Granato has been hospitalized in Buffalo, New York, with a severe case of pneumonia and other complications, and Tony Granato said it was a "scary" situation.
"I needed to be there," he said. "He had a real bad health scare. He is improving; he's still going to be in the hospital for a while. But I felt comfortable leaving that he was in a good place that he's going to be OK. Ten days ago, I didn't know if he was going to be OK."
Wisconsin State Journal reporter Todd Milewski takes a position-by-position look at the 2019-20 University of Wisconsin men's hockey roster.
Don Granato, who was on his brother's coaching staff at UW for the 2016-17 season and who played for the Badgers from 1987 to 1991, is in his first season as an assistant coach for the NHL's Buffalo Sabres.
Associate head coach Mark Osiecki ran the Badgers' first day of official practice Saturday and Sunday's intrasquad scrimmage in Tony Granato's absence.
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Sophomore defenseman K'Andre Miller sat out both because of an undisclosed violation of team rules, and Granato said Tuesday the team hasn't decided yet whether that was the extent of the discipline.
Miller was the only player not present Saturday when the team practiced at the Kohl Center. It's unclear whether he'll play in Friday's season opener at No. 11 Boston College.
A decision on Miller's status for Friday's season opener at No. 10 Boston College might not be made until game day.
"Missing the practice and missing the Red-and-White game was a good message to say, hey, this is part of the consequences," Granato said. "Whether or not we're finished with that, I don't know.
"I liked the way he practiced. I like the way he's been. He's aware and he's responded the way we've hoped he would."