I’ve really enjoyed being around every single Colorado Avalanche coach in the team’s history – and that goes back to Day 1 in 1995. Even when they sometimes chewed my head off. Jared Bednar, though, is something else.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more even-tempered man in the game of hockey than him. Joe Sakic might be close. I think it says it all that those two men are world champions right now.
Bednar is a tough guy, make no mistake. Everybody talked about how tough he was as a player (and fighter) but absolutely everyone I’ve ever talked to about Bednar always says what a gentleman he is off the ice, and how he treats everybody with respect, from the owner to the janitor.
Jared Bednar is the first coach in the history of the game to win a Kelly Cup (ECHL), Calder Cup (AHL) and Stanley Cup as a head coach. Think about that for a minute. And yet, his first year on the job here (2016-17) the Avalanche set a team record for fewest points in a season (48). They didn’t even get the first pick in the draft out of that. They had to settle for Cale Makar at No. 4.
So many GMs might have let Bednar go after that first season. A lot of GMs might have let go of a coach who lost three straight years in the second round of the playoffs. Joe Sakic, a smart, even-tempered, patient man, kept the faith in Bednar.
Bednar, today, in his speech at Civic Center Park, showed just how much appreciation he has for all that. I thought his speech, an emotional one, was the best of the day. The irony: he’s always been viewed as kind of an unemotional guy. Not anymore. Here it is:
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 30, 2022
Hats off to Jared Bednar, a gentleman, a scholar and now a Stanley Cup winner.