Rays Hall of Famer Bednar Named Head Coach of Colorado AvalancheAug 25, 2016
Former player, coach and South Carolina Stingrays Hall of Fame member Jared Bednar has been hired as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL), the club announced earlier today. Bednar won three Kelly Cups with the Stingrays, including two as a player (1997, 2001) and one as head coach in 2009.
"From an organizational standpoint, we couldn't be more excited for Jared," said Stingrays President and Bednar's former teammate Rob Concannon. "We think so highly of him and his time here. We all knew he was going to be a head coach in the NHL. The last 14 years in coaching have been a journey for him and we are thrilled he's earned this opportunity. Today is one of the prouder moments in my time with the Stingrays."
Bednar, 44, becomes the seventh head coach in Avalanche history. The Saskatoon native started his coaching career with the Stingrays after skating with the club for parts of six seasons from 1995-2002. The defenseman won a Kelly Cup with the Stingrays in 1997 and captained the team to the 2001 Kelly Cup before retiring in 2002. He instantly moved behind the bench, serving as an assistant coach on Jason Fitzsimmons' staff from 2002-07 before being promoted to head coach in 2007. In two seasons as head coach, he posted a .654 winning percentage (89-45-9) and guided the Stingrays to a Kelly Cup Championship in 2009.
"My family and I are thrilled to be heading to Denver to begin this new challenge,” said Bednar in an Avalanche press release. “I feel ready for this role with the Avalanche and I am grateful for the trust that (Avalanche President) Josh Kroenke, Joe (Sakic) and the organization has shown me. This is a great sports market with a passionate fan base and I can’t wait to get to work. I would also like to thank Columbus Blue Jackets organization for the opportunity they gave me.”
Most recently, Bednar served as head coach of the Lake Erie (now Cleveland) Monsters of the American Hockey League (AHL), where he claimed his fourth professional championship. The Monsters, the affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, went 15-2 in the playoffs to win the 2016 Calder Cup. Overall, Bednar owns a 251-158-42 (.603) record as a head coach in his career. Prior to leading Lake Erie, Bednar served as the head coach of the Springfield Falcons in 2014-15. He also spent two seasons as the head coach of the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen from 2010-12 following his time in South Carolina.
Bednar, who was inducted into the Stingrays Hall of Fame in 2012, is the sixth active coach in the NHL with ties to the ECHL, joining Bruce Boudreau (Minnesota), Dan Bylsma (Buffalo), Jack Capuano (New York Islanders), Glen Gulutzan (Calgary), and Peter Laviolette (Nashville).
The Stingrays' 24th season in the Lowcountry starts on October 22. 2016-17 Season Ticket Packages are on sale now featuring discounted pricing and great benefits! For more information, fans may call the Stingrays' offices at 843-744-2248 or visit StingraysHockey.com