Exclusive: Jared Bednar will return to coach Colorado Avalanche
Jared Bednar will return for a sixth season coaching the Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Hockey Now has learned.
Bednar, 49, already is the longest-tenured coach in Avs history, and that tenure will continue into the 2021-22 NHL season. In his five years behind the bench, he has posted a regular-season record of 184-149-39 and 24-19 in the playoffs.
The Avs went 39-13-4 this past season, the best of any team in the NHL. The team lost in the second round to the Vegas Golden Knights, the third straight season the team lost in the second round. That may have led to some speculation that the Avs might look for another coach to get them over that second-round hump, but it can also be viewed a different way: Bednar is one of only three NHL coaches to have taken his team to at least the second round in the past three seasons. Barry Trotz, with the Islanders, and Bruce Cassidy, with Boston, are the others.
Jared Bednar was hired by Avs GM Joe Sakic, and the two have a good working relationship. Sakic does not make kneejerk decisions, preferring to look at the big picture always. NHL coaches have notoriously short shelf lives, but that trend seems to be changing somewhat. Only one of 31 teams can win the Stanley Cup, so rash firings after one bad year aren’t happening as much.
Bednar has won a championship at the AHL level, in the Columbus Blues Jackets system, and has posted strong winning percentages since a tough first season at the helm in which the Avs got only 48 points. He is known as a tough, but fair coach who seems to have the full respect of his players. Winning a Cup remains the ultimate goal for Bednar and the Avs, and there’s no question this season’s playoff loss to Vegas was a tough one. But Bednar will remain part of the solution moving forward.