BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Sabres assistant coach Don Granato, 52, has been hospitalized with pneumonia and will miss the start of the season.     

The Sabres announced Tuesday that Granato will be taking a medical leave of absence. Top minor league coach Chris Taylor will fill in on an interim basis.    

Granato joined the Sabres in June as part of newly hired coach Ralph Krueger's staff. Granato spent the past two years as an assistant with the Chicago Blackhawks.     

"The curve is in the right direction and we're optimistic that he will recover fully from this setback," Krueger said. "He's in very good medical hands."  

His brother is former NHL player and current Wisconsin coach Tony Granato. Sister Cammi Granato is a former U.S. national hockey team captain and was hired as a pro scout by the NHL's expansion franchise Seattle last month.    

The Sabres open the season at Pittsburgh on Thursday.

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