Colorado has named veteran minor league head coach Jared Bednar to replace Patrick Roy in the same capacity with the Avalanche. The timing of Roy’s resignation put the Avalanche in a bind as most organizations had already filled their coaching staffs – both at the NHL and minor league levels – and would understandably have been hesitant to potentially lose a quality coach to Colorado this late in the summer. Still, the Avalanche had several good candidates to choose from and clearly decided Bednar would be the best fit.
Bednar spent the last two seasons as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets AHL affiliates, winning the Calder Cup this year with the Lake Erie Monsters. He also served two years as head coach of the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen from 2010 – 2012. Overall, Bednar has 14 years of professional coaching experience.
This will be Bednar’s first NHL head coaching gig but he had already been identified as one of the top young up-and-comers in the industry. Columbus had rewarded Bednar for his work by giving the 44-year-old coach a two-year extension earlier this summer. Now they’ll have to replace the coach who so recently led their AHL team to a Calder Cup championship.
Other candidates linked to the opening and considered potential finalists along with Bednar were Washington assistant Lane Lambert and Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen.
Avalanche executive vice president and general manager, Joe Sakic, had this to say about the hiring of Bednar:
“After profiling the type of coach I wanted for our team and going through an interview process with several good candidates, I believe that Jared Bednar is the best person to lead this team behind the bench. Jared’s track record of success as a head coach in the American Hockey League speaks for itself and he is considered to be one of the top up-and-coming coaches in our business.”
Roy would spend three years as head coach of the Avalanche and won the league’s Jack Adams award for top coach following his first season with the club after leading the team to a 52 – 22 – 8 record. Colorado would make the playoffs that year, losing in the first round, but it would be the only postseason appearance with Roy at the helm. The Avalanche would post a 78 – 70 – 16 record over the last two seasons. Roy, who also served as a VP of hockey operations, evidently left the team due to philosophical differences with the front office.
Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports that Bednar received a three year contract. Financial terms have not been disclosed.