Lost among the news of the cancelled 2019-2020 AHL season and the ongoing delays to the forthcoming 2021 campaign, was that Colorado Eagles head coach Greg Cronin was quietly due for a contract renewal.
Now, according to a source close to the situation, Colorado Hockey Now has learned that the Colorado Avalanche has in fact picked up the third-year option on Cronin, who will now return behind the Eagles bench for at least the 2021 season.
Negotiations over financial term have been ongoing over the last few months and those details are not known at this time.
The Colorado Avalanche hired Cronin as the Eagles head coach in the summer of 2018, just as the Eagles were set to play in their first year in the American Hockey League.
The 57-year-old coach has since led the Eagles to a 70-45-9 overall record in his first two years behind the bench in Loveland. Cronin is 1-3 in the postseason in Colorado.
Before the AHL’s pause and eventual cancellation of the 2020 season, the Eagles appeared poised for a strong postseason run. At the time, Colorado was second in the Pacific Division with two games in hand and fourth in the Western Conference.
Cronin has brought plenty of tenure behind the bench. He has spent 32 seasons in various coaching roles, 12 years of which were spent in the NHL split between two separate stints in the New York Islanders organization and three seasons as an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Cronin is entering his fifth season as an AHL head coach. Across 284 regular season games in that span, Cronin has registered a .579 point percentage with his teams.
Cronin has so far had a hand in developing impactful Avs talent like Ryan Graves, Pavel Francouz, Martin Kaut, Logan O’Connor and Conor Timmins.
With regards to the 2021 AHL season, the league is still targeting a Feb. 5 return to the ice.