Avs lock up Jared Bednar to a big money deal
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Avs lock up Jared Bednar to a big money deal

Coach ain't going anywhere!



This just in, the Colorado Avalanche have signed head coach Jared Bednar to a three year contract worth $15 million total.

From the Avalanche's official press release announcement:

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the organization has signed head coach Jared Bednar to a three-year contract extension through the 2026-27 season. The extension will kick in once Bednar's current deal expires after the 2023-24 campaign.

Bednar, who led the Avalanche to the 2022 Stanley Cup, is the winningest coach in franchise history with a 281-190-52 (.587) record in 523 regular-season games behind the bench. Hired on Aug. 25, 2016, Bednar is in his seventh season as head coach and is the third-longest tenured coach in the NHL behind Tampa Bay's Jon Cooper (March 25, 2013) and Pittsburgh's Mike Sullivan (Dec. 12, 2015).

The Avalanche are currently in second place in the Central Division with a 41-22-6 record (88 points), just one point behind the Dallas Stars (89). Colorado, which has played one fewer game than Dallas, has the best points percentage in the division at .638. The Avalanche have a current six-game winning streak, the longest active streak in NHL and tied for the longest win streak of the season for Colorado. The Avs are 13-3-1 in their last 17 games and a league-best 21-5-3 in their last 29 contests.

Bednar led the 2021-22 Avalanche to their most successful regular season in franchise history (56-19-7, 119 points) and continued that into the postseason with a 16-4 mark en route to capturing the Stanley Cup. Bednar, who won a Calder Cup with the Lake Erie Monsters in 2016 and a Kelly Cup with the South Carolina Stingrays in 2009, became the first individual to win a championship in the NHL, AHL and ECHL as a head coach. Colorado's 72 combined regular season and playoff victories in 2021-22 matched the NHL record set by the 1976-77 Canadiens, 1983-84 Oilers and 1995-96 Red Wings.

Colorado owns a 178-74-25 (.688) record since 2019-20, second best in the NHL behind Boston, and a 259-134-48 (.642) mark since 2017-18, fourth best in the NHL and tops in the Western Conference. Bednar got to .500 as an NHL head coach on Feb. 4, 2020 in his 297th game (132-132-33). Since that day, Jared has led his teams to a 149-58-19 (.701) mark in his last 226 contests.

"On behalf of the Kroenke family and the entire organization we are thrilled to announce a long-term commitment to our head coach," said Avalanche President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. "Jared has done a tremendous job behind the bench and certainly deserves this extension and to continue as the leader of our team."

"Jared has obviously proven himself to be one of the top coaches in our business," said Avalanche General Manager Chris MacFarland. "His strength as a communicator, his relationship with the players, the way he prepares each and every day is a huge reason our team has been so successful. He is an exceptional leader and we couldn't be more excited to have him continue as our head coach."

"Being able to lead this team over the last seven years has been a privilege," said Bednar. "I am grateful and excited to have the opportunity to continue building on what we've accomplished so far. Colorado has become home to me and my family, and I can't thank our ownership enough, Stan and Josh Kroenke, as well as Joe Sakic and Chris MacFarland, my coaching staff and all of our players for their hard work and dedication. I look forward to continuing this process with them."

Bednar, 51, has guided Colorado to five straight appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the first Avalanche coach to ever do that. In addition to the 2022 Stanley Cup, Bednar's squad has won two consecutive division titles and has had the Western Conference's best regular-season record in each of those two years.

Bednar became the franchise's all-time winningest coach with his 266th victory on Jan. 24, 2023 against the Washington Capitals. He surpassed former Nordiques bench boss Michel Bergeron, who had 265 wins. Jared reached the milestone in his 500th regular-season game behind an NHL bench. After posting a 107-116-27 (.482) mark in his first 250 games, he went 159-69-22 (.680) in his next 250 contests.

A native of Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Bednar owns a 40-22-1 (.635) record in 63 postseason games, the third-best playoff winning percentage all time (min 50 games) behind Glen Sather (.706) and Toe Blake (.689). Bednar's 40 postseason wins rank second in franchise history next to only Bob Hartley (49).

The 2022-23 campaign marks Bednar's 21st season of coaching professional hockey, 13 of which have been as a head coach. He posted a .603 winning percentage as a minor league head coach (251-158-23-19), winning championships at both the AHL and ECHL levels.

Bednar led the Avalanche to the Presidents' Trophy and Honda West Division championship during his fifth season behind the bench in 2020-21. The Avs, who finished last in the league in 2016-17, became the first NHL club to go from worst to first in four seasons or less since the 1970-71 Bruins.

Bednar was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year during his second season in 2017-18. He led the Avs to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 43-30-9 record (95 points), a jump of 47 points from the previous year. Colorado's 47-point turnaround equaled the fourth-highest year-to-year improvement in NHL history. He joined Harry Sinden in 1967-68 as the only coaches in NHL history to record at least 20 more wins in their second season as a head coach than in their first.

Bednar led the Avalanche to a second-place finish in the Central Division and the Western Conference with 92 points in 70 games during the shortened 2019-20 campaign. The Avalanche tied Tampa Bay for the third-most points in the NHL behind the Blues (94) and Boston Bruins (100).

Bednar, who agreed to a two-year extension on Nov. 19, 2021, coached the Central Division during the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas, the first Avalanche bench boss to serve as a head coach at the NHL All-Star Game.

Prior to joining the Avalanche organization, Bednar guided the Columbus Blue Jackets' AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, to the 2016 Calder Cup championship. The Monsters went 15-2 during the postseason, sweeping both the Western Conference Final and Calder Cup Final.

Bednar served as the head coach of the AHL's Springfield Falcons in 2014-15 and the AHL's Peoria Rivermen from 2010-12. He began his coaching career as an assistant with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL in 2002-03. Bednar took over the Stingrays' head coaching job in 2007-08 and in his second season led South Carolina to the 2009 Kelly Cup championship.

The defenseman played nine seasons of pro hockey and was part of two Kelly Cup championship teams as a player, 1997 and 2001 with South Carolina. He was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2020.

Bednar, who lived in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, on two different occasions for a decade during his youth and also played for the Humboldt Broncos, is personally involved in helping the victims and families of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus accident. Jared hosts a golf tournament in Humboldt each summer and during the 2022 event brought the Stanley Cup to share with the community.

Source: Colorado Avalanche