Colorado Avalanche and Jared Bednar agree to a one-year extension to keep the head coach in Denver until 2020.
It didn’t take long for the Colorado Avalanche to give a vote of confidence to second year head coach Jared Bednar.
One day after being eliminated from the playoffs by the Nashville Predators, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic announced that he and Bednar agreed on a one-year extension. Bednar’s original three-year deal was set to expire at the end of the 2019 season.
Many questioned whether or not Bednar was ready for the NHL following his rookie season behind the bench. Fresh off a Calder Cup victory, he was hired a few weeks before training camp after former coach Patrick Roy stepped down. Colorado ended up being the worst team in the salary cap era, finishing with a measly 48 points.
Bednar and the Avalanche exceeded all expectations this season. Colorado made the playoffs with 95 points and pushed the Nashville Predators to six games in the first round. Many expect Bednar to be in the running for the Jack Adams award as the league’s top coach during the regular season.
A lot of Bednar’s success can be attributed to the rise of Nathan MacKinnon, but anyone who watched Colorado the past two years could see a difference in play throughout the lineup. The 2016-17 team was an unstructured mess. The ’17-18 squad played with more pace, utilizing their speed in ways that weren’t there in the prior season.
With a full offseason to prepare and more of “his guys” in the lineup, Bednar proved why he’s been successful at every level as a coach.
This move brings stability to an organization that looked lost during the short Roy era. The Avalanche have the youngest team in the league according to NHLNumbers.com and the future looks bright following their successful year. Joe Sakic hired Bednar with the intent on having him grow with young team. Giving him an extra year on his original contract shows that he fully intends to stick to that plan.