Today, the Colorado Avalanche officially introduced their new Head-Coach Jared Bednar during a press conference held at the Pepsi Center. The press conference featured the new coach Bednar, Owner Josh Kroenke, and General Manager Joe Sakic.
Born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Bednar has played and coached the game on multiple levels throughout his career.
Now he has a new challenge, as it will be Bednar’s first season behind an NHL bench, having spent his coaching days in the ECHL and AHL. He boasts an impressive winning record wherever he’s coached, grabbing a championship with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL in 2009.
Most recently, Bednar is coming off an impressive Calder Cup winning campaign, coaching the Lake Erie Monsters(now Cleveland Monsters) to their first ever championship.
Today was the new coach’s first press conference in Denver since being hired by the Avalanche.
During the press conference Bednar did announce that he’ll be keeping the rest of the coaching staff as is, meaning Tim Army, Dave Farrish, and Nolan Pratt(also recently acquired from the Monsters) will all stay put. Bednar also went into the basics of his style of coaching and preferred systems.
As you can see watching the video above, this guy looks and sounds more than ready to get started in Colorado. What I really loved hearing were his thoughts and strategy behind possession, and playing as a unit of five in all three zones, with support being emphasized big time.
One of the keys to being a good possession team, is that you’ve got to touch the puck first. If you touch it first, then you’ve got the opportunity to keep it. It’s got to happen quick – Jared Bednar
Bednar wants to play a fast and aggressive game, something that will fit right in with the Avalanche organization and players. With his fresh attitude towards analytics, expect the Avalanche to have better possession numbers, something that’s haunted them the past two years.
It will be very interesting to see how he uses Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, and whether he keeps them both at center(where they belong in my eyes) – or if one of them will be shifted to right-wing as has been done in the past(please no Jared!). In order for the Avalanche to have a more balanced and dangerous top-six, MacKinnon and Duchene both need to be playing center.
Bednar’s first order of business will be to get a strong training camp/pre-season together. Colorado cannot suffer from the same slow starts to the season as they have done recently. It always bites you in the ass at some point. Colorado’s early schedule is a very hard one, even more reason to reverse the bad trend of poor training camps and pre-season games.
Why Everyone Should Be Excited
First of all, it’s a brand new NHL season, and that alone gets everyone pumped up. Add a new head coach to the mix, and you’ve got even more excitement. Everyone from management, players, fans, and media should all be looking forward to this new look Avalanche team.
Look forward to defensive coverage, support, and solid breakouts, something we haven’t seen on a consistent basis for some time now. The players will have a point to prove, not only to the new coach, but also to the fans who they feel have been let down by the team’s poor performances during the last two years.
Bednar is not satisfied just being named as a head coach in the NHL, he wants to win, and he wants to have fun doing it. I have a feeling he can get the job done, it won’t be long before all Avalanche fans forget about Patrick Roy(the coach) and are behind the “new guy” 100 percent.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) August 31, 2016
Joe Sakic talks Jared Bednar & recaps the #Avs offseason.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) September 1, 2016
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Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble