Jared Bednar (born February 28, 1972) is a Canadian professional ice hockey coach and former player. He is the current head coach of the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL). He previously coached the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, leading them to a Calder Cup championship in the 2015–16 season.
Bednar in 2016
|Occupation||Ice hockey coach, player|
|General manager||Joe Sakic|
|Years as a coach||2002–present|
|Years as an NHL coach||2016–present|
|Years with current team||2016–present|
Bednar played junior hockey with the Western Hockey League's Saskatoon Blades, Spokane Chiefs, Medicine Hat Tigers, and Prince Albert Raiders, from 1990 to 1993, playing in 152 games with 520 combined penalty minutes, establishing himself as a physical player. After going undrafted by the NHL, Bednar made his professional debut during the 1993–94 season, with the Huntington Blizzard of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). He played three seasons with the team, posting a career high in points during the 1994–95 season, with 45 points in 64 games.
Bednar joined the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays halfway through the 1995–96 season, posting 24 points and 126 penalty minutes in his first 39 games. From 1995 to 1998, he played mostly with the Stingrays, with small stints in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the St. John's Maple Leafs and Rochester Americans. He played the 1998–99 season with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the International Hockey League (IHL), racking up 21 points and 220 PIMS in 71 games with the Griffins. Bednar re-joined the Stingrays for the 1999–2000 season and played two more seasons with the Rays. He announced his retirement after the 2001–02 season.
After retiring as a player, Bednar became the assistant coach of the Stingrays from 2002 to 2007. After head coach Jason Fitzsimmons stepped down, Bednar was promoted and became the new head coach for the 2007–08 season. His first season as coach was extremely successful, with the Stingrays winning 47 games in the regular season, and making it to the American Conference finals in the playoffs. After another successful season in 2008–09, the Stingrays won the Kelly Cup, giving Bednar his first championship as a coach in only his second season.
After winning the Cup, Bednar stepped down as head coach of the Stingrays and became the assistant coach of the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL for the 2009–10 season. He was then the head coach of the AHL's Peoria Rivermen from 2010 through 2012.
The Columbus Blue Jackets hired Bednar as an assistant coach for their minor league AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, beginning with the 2012–13 season. After serving in this role for two seasons, he was promoted to head coach following the promotion of Brad Larsen to Columbus' staff. For the 2015–16 season, Columbus shifted their AHL affiliation to the Lake Erie Monsters in Cleveland. Bednar followed the affiliation to Cleveland and continued as head coach. Lake Erie went 15–2 in the 2016 Calder Cup playoffs to capture the franchise's first championship and the first for the city of Cleveland since the original Cleveland Barons won the 1964 Calder Cup. He was later rewarded by the Blue Jackets with a two-year contract extension through to the 2018–19 season on July 19, 2016.
On August 25, 2016, Bednar was named head coach of the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL). Bednar's first season as an NHL coach was not successful. Due to the timing of his hiring–less than a month before training camp–he did not have nearly enough time to implement his own system. He also did not have enough time to hire his own staff, and had to make do with holdovers from his predecessor, Patrick Roy. Despite having talented players, such as Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene on the roster, the team regressed considerably and finished with only 48 points, the worst record in the league and the worst since the team moved from Quebec City in 1995.
In his second season with the team, Bednar guided the team to a 47-point improvement. The team faced some adversity early in the season with the distraction of Duchene's public trade request. Following the trade, Bednar guided the team to one of the hottest second half records and snapping a four-year playoff drought in the process. After the Avalanche's first round exit in 6 games to the Nashville Predators, Bednar was signed to a one-year contract extension on April 23, 2018. A few days after signing a new contract, Bednar was nominated for the Jack Adams Award, given to the coach who is voted best in the NHL.
In Bednar's third season coaching the Avalanche, he led the team to back-to-back playoff appearances in consecutive seasons, the first Avalanche coach to do so since Joel Quenneville in the 2005–06 season. The Avalanche defeated in the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference Quarterfinals by a margin of 4–1, and went on to be defeated in the Western Conference Semifinals in 7 games by the San Jose Sharks. On July 9, 2019, Bednar signed a two-year contract extension.
Career playing statisticsEdit
|1992–93||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL||9||1||4||5||20||—||—||—||—||—|
|1992–93||Prince Albert Raiders||WHL||37||6||16||22||56||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||South Carolina Stingrays||ECHL||39||2||22||24||126||8||0||0||0||26|
|1996–97||St. John's Maple Leafs||AHL||55||1||2||3||151||—||—||—||—||—|
|1996–97||South Carolina Stingrays||ECHL||15||1||2||3||28||15||1||4||5||59|
|1997–98||South Carolina Stingrays||ECHL||36||4||4||8||126||5||1||2||3||17|
|1998–99||Grand Rapids Griffins||IHL||74||3||18||21||220||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–00||South Carolina Stingrays||ECHL||61||4||13||17||214||10||0||2||2||25|
|2000–01||South Carolina Stingrays||ECHL||57||6||9||15||155||15||0||5||5||24|
|2001–02||South Carolina Stingrays||ECHL||71||5||23||28||145||1||0||0||0||2|
|COL||2016–17||82||22||56||4||48||7th in Central||—||—||—||Missed playoffs|
|COL||2017–18||82||43||30||9||95||4th in Central||2||4||.333||Lost in First Round (NSH)|
|COL||2018–19||82||38||30||14||90||5th in Central||7||5||.583||Lost in Second Round (SJS)|
|COL||2019–20||70*||42||20||8||92||2nd in Central||9||6||.600||Lost in Second Round (DAL)|
|Total||316||145||136||35||18||15||.545||3 playoff appearances|
- Shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2019-20 season. Playoffs were played in August 2020 with a different format.
- "Monsters win Calder Cup". Columbus Blue Jackets. June 12, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "Bednar signs two-year extension". Columbus Blue Jackets. July 19, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- Sadowski, Rick (August 25, 2016). "Jared Bednar hired as Avalanche coach". NHL.com. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- Frei, Terry; Chambers, Mike (August 25, 2016). "Jared Bednar selected as new Colorado Avalanche head coach". The Denver Post. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "Avs ink Bednar to one-year extension". The Sports Network. April 23, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- "Jack Adams Award finalists unveiled". NHL.com. April 25, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
- "Avalanche Signs Jared Bednar to Two-Year Extension". NHL.com. July 9, 2019. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- Biographical information and career statistics from Eliteprospects.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
| South Carolina Stingrays head coach
| Springfield Falcons head coach
| Lake Erie Monsters head coach
| Head coach of the Colorado Avalanche