Avalanche, coach Jared Bednar agree on 2-year extension

NHL

DENVER (AP)The Colorado Avalanche signed coach Jared Bednar to a two-year extension that runs through the 2023-24 season, the team said Friday night.

Bednar is coming off a 2020-21 season in which he guided the Avalanche to the Presidents’ Trophy for the league’s top mark and their fourth straight postseason appearance. His team is off to a solid start this season despite key injuries to players like Nathan MacKinnon.

The 49-year-old Bednar has a 192-154-40 career mark in six seasons in charge of Colorado. He’s one win away from matching Bob Hartley for most by a coach in Avalanche history. Michel Bergeron had 265 victories when the franchise was based in Quebec.

”He is a great leader who has the complete trust of our players and staff,” Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said in a statement. ”Under his guidance, our team has continued to make great strides and improve every year. We know he is the right person to help us take that next step and compete for a Stanley Cup.”

Bednar boasts a playoff winning percentage of .558, which is second-best among active head coaches. It trails only Jon Cooper of Tampa Bay (.603). Colorado has made it to the second round of the playoffs – and lost – in the last three seasons.

Last season, Colorado posted its highest points percentage in team history (.732), a mark that topped the 2000-01 Stanley Cup championship team (.720).

”I am grateful and excited to have the opportunity to continue to lead this team and build upon what we have accomplished so far,” said Bednar, whose team beat the Seattle Kraken 7-3 on Friday night. ”We know we still have yet to achieve our ultimate goal but we are confident in the group we have and will continue to work hard to get there.”

Bednar was hired Aug. 25, 2016.

Before arriving in Colorado, Bednar led Columbus’s AHL affiliate to the 2016 Calder Cup title.

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