Monsters Head Coach Jared Bednar Named Head Coach of NHL's Colorado Avalanche
CLEVELAND – The AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, proudly powered by Constellation, announced Thursday that Monsters Head Coach Jared Bednar was named the new head coach of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. In 2015-16, Bednar, 44, led the Monsters to a franchise-record 97 points during his lone season behind the bench in Cleveland, posting a 43-22-6-5 regular season record before steering the Monsters to a 15-2 mark in the postseason, en route to the team’s first AHL title in club history and Cleveland’s first Calder Cup Championship since 1964.
“Jared Bednar is a terrific coach who has earned this opportunity through hard work and dedication and we appreciate all of his contributions to our organization,” said Columbus Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager and Monsters General Manager Bill Zito on Thursday. “With regards to the head coaching position with the Monsters, we will begin reviewing candidates immediately and expeditiously move the process forward.”
Following a nine-year professional playing career as a defenseman in the IHL, ECHL and AHL, Bednar is entering his 15th season in professional coaching. Bednar led the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays to a Kelly Cup Championship as head coach during the 2008-09 season and served two seasons as the head coach of the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen from 2010 to 2012. Following two seasons as an assistant coach with Columbus’ former AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, from 2012 to 2014, Bednar assumed the Falcons’ head coaching duties in 2014-15 before coming to Cleveland prior to last season when the Monsters became the Blue Jackets’ primary development club.
Bednar will be reunited in Colorado with former Monsters assistant coach Nolan Pratt, who was hired as an assistant coach with the Avalanche earlier this offseason after helping Bednar guide the Monsters to an AHL title.