Sakic hires ex-Griffin Bednar to coach Avs

Associated Press
Lake Erie Monsters coach Jared Bednar watches practice at the OBM Arena in Strongsville, Ohio. The Colorado Avalanche have hired Bednar as their new head coach.

The Colorado Avalanche hired former Grand Rapids defenceman Jared Bednar as their new head coach.

Bednar replaces Patrick Roy, who abruptly stepped down as coach and vice president of hockey operations earlier this month.

The 44-year-old Bednar won the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup championship as coach of the Lake Erie Monsters last season. He also won the ECHL’s Kelly Cup in 2009 with the South Carolina Stingrays.

He's the fourth AHL coach to win the Calder Cup and then coach in the NHL since 2012, joining Jon Cooper in Tampa Bay, Jeff Blashill in Detroit, and Willie Desjardins in Vancouver.

President of hockey operations and general manager Joe Sakic said upon Roy’s sudden resignation that he’d look outside the organization for Colorado’s next coach.

He did just that with Bednar, who had been in the Columbus system.

In his one season in Grand Rapids in 1998-99, the 6-3, 205-pound defenceman had three goals, 21 points and 220 penalty minutes in 74 games.