Avalanche name Jared Bednar coach after Calder Cup-winning AHL campaign

Jared Clinton
Jared Bednar (Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Avalanche are hoping an AHL and ECHL title can cross over to NHL success as they’ve hired now-former Cleveland Monsters coach Jared Bednar to take over as bench boss in Colorado.

Bednar, 44, is coming off of a tremendously successful season in the AHL in which he coached the Monsters to a Calder Cup in just his second year behind the bench. During the post-season run with the Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate, Bednar’s Monsters club lost just two games, with both defeats coming at the hands of the Grand Rapids Griffins in the second round. Cleveland, then known as Lake Erie, swept both the conference and Calder Cup finals.

“After profiling the type of coach I wanted for our team and going through an interview process with several good candidates, I believe that Jared Bednar is the best person to lead this team behind the bench,” said Avalanche GM Joe Sakic. “Jared’s track record of success as a head coach in the American Hockey League speaks for itself and he is considered to be one of the top up-and-coming coaches in our business.” Read more

Report: Dineen, Boughner ‘major candidates’ for Avalanche coaching job

Kevin Dineen (Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Patrick Roy stepped down from his post as coach of the Avalanche nearly two weeks ago and two NHL assistants are reportedly the frontrunners to take over as bench boss in Colorado.

According to The Denver Post’s Terry Frei, Chicago Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen and San Jose Sharks assistant Bob Boughner are two ‘major candidates’ to assume the Avalanche’s top coaching job and both have ties to the city.

As Frei points out, Dineen spent two seasons at the University of Denver before making his jump to the NHL during the 1984-85 season with the Hartford Whalers, whereas Boughner spent the final two seasons of his NHL career with the Avalanche, playing a total of 52 games with the club across the 2003-04 and 2005-06 campaigns.

However, there’s another tie both coaches share. The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline made the connection between Dineen and Boughner, both former members of the Blue Jackets’ front office and coaching staff, and Avalanche assistant GM Chris McFarland, who held the same position in Columbus during the tenures of both Dineen and Boughner. Portzline added that also helps draw the link between Jared Bednar, coach of the Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate, and the Avalanche. Read more

Report: Two AHL coaches, two NHL assistants in running for Avalanche job

Jared Clinton
Travis Green (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic is under a time crunch when it comes to naming a new coach, especially with training camp less than a month away, and he has reportedly already assembled a list that has some interesting candidates.

Sakic has said that he would assemble his list of candidates quickly and start the process as soon as possible, and it appears he has stuck to his word in looking for a replacement for Patrick Roy, who shockingly resigned from the team on Aug. 11.

According to the Denver Post’s Mike Chambers, Sakic is looking at two AHL coaches — the Cleveland Monsters’ Jared Bednar and Utica Comets’ Travis Green — as well as Washington Capitals assistant Lane Lambert and New York Rangers assistant Scott Arniel as potential coaches with the “preliminary phase of the interview process” set to begin. Read more

When Patrick Roy doesn’t get his way, he packs up and goes home

Mike Brophy
Patrick Roy. (Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

There was nothing shocking about Patrick Roy’s abrupt departure as coach and vice-president of hockey operations with the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.

On the contrary, it was typical behavior from the Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender. When Roy doesn’t get his way, he packs up and goes home.

He did it with the Montreal Canadiens and he once stiffed the Canadian Olympic team.

Listen, Roy can do whatever the heck he wants. He was a great goaltender – one of the best ever – and he has enjoyed success as both a junior coach/executive and NHL coach. He doesn’t seem to care about his reputation, so why should we? Read more

Avalanche GM Sakic ‘definitely caught off-guard’ by Roy’s resignation

Jared Clinton
Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy (Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)

Few would have expected Patrick Roy to resign from his post as coach and vice president of hockey operations with the Avalanche, and you can count Colorado GM Joe Sakic among those who didn’t see the move coming.

It’d be hard to blame Sakic for not seeing it coming, either. After a second unsuccessful consecutive season missing the post-season and two straight years of taking a step backward in terms of point totals, Roy had managed to hang onto his job in Colorado despite some believing the Avalanche needed a shakeup behind the bench.

But Roy, out of the blue, decided to leave the franchise with roughly a month to go before training camp. Sakic said a lot of Roy’s decision had to do with the team’s performance this past season.

“The big thing when he talked to me today was last year was a tough year, he didn’t have a lot of fun and we always said as long as we’re enjoying what we’re doing and having fun we’ll keep doing it,” Sakic said, via the Associated Press’ Stephen Whyno. “He said in the last three, four weeks he just really contemplated not coming back and not coaching and thought he made the right decision for himself. I totally respect him for that.” Read more

Who could be the next coach of the Avalanche?

Jared Clinton
Bob Hartley (Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

After Patrick Roy escaped a second playoff-less season with his job in tact, few would have imagined that the Colorado Avalanche would be searching for a new bench boss come the 2016-17 campaign.

The entire coaching situation in Colorado was turned upside down Thursday, though, when Roy shockingly announced his resignation from the Avalanche, ceding both his coaching duties and position as vice president of hockey operations. With Roy stepping down, Colorado finds themselves in need of a replacement. Making matters worse, the Avalanche won’t have much time to consider replacement and do a thorough search with training camp fast approaching.

According to Avalanche GM Joe Sakic, the team isn’t going to waste any time getting to work on finding Roy’s successor. He announced Thursday that the coaching search will begin “immediately.” With that in mind, here are a few names to keep an eye on: Read more

Patrick Roy announces resignation as coach of the Colorado Avalanche

Jared Clinton
Patrick Roy (Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Colorado Avalanche find themselves in need of a coach, as Patrick Roy has announced that he is stepping down as coach and vice president of hockey operations for the organization.

In a statement released Thursday, Roy, who had a year remaining on his contract, said that though he is saddened to leave the Avalanche, he has put a lot of thought into the decision to step away from the team and is “fully comfortable” with his choice. However, in thanking the players and fans for their support, he made it clear that the departure has to do with his inability to have a larger say in the direction of the franchise.

“I have thought long and hard over the course of the summer about how I might improve this team to give it the depth it needs and bring it to a higher level,” Roy said in a statement. “To achieve this, the vision of the coach and VP-Hockey Operations needs to be perfectly aligned with that of the organization. He must also have a say in the decisions that impact the team’s performance. These conditions are not currently met.” Read more

Five notable players who could opt for retirement following the upcoming season

Jarome Iginla (Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

The rough and tumble ways of the NHL are starting to go by the wayside, but veteran winger Shawn Thornton is sticking around for one more season with the Florida Panthers. But Thornton, 39, admitted that before he signed a one-year contract extension in February, he was considering hanging up his skates for good.

Speaking with CBS Boston’s Matt Kalman, Thornton said that while the 2015-16 campaign wore on, he began to think about retirement. As he planned to retire from the game, though, along came a contract offer from the Panthers to come back on a one-year, $750,000 deal. The idea was to keep Thornton around as a locker room leader and a guide for the young players looking to get a foothold in the league.

However, once this season is done, that’s likely it for Thornton. And once his playing days are done, the one-time tough guy could be finding his way to the Panthers’ front office, working on the “business side of things” for the team he has spent the past two years of his career with.

“Things change year to year. This would’ve been a different conversation last year,” Thornton told Kalman. “But as of right now probably leaning more toward the business side of hockey. Once the season’s over I’ll probably move into that role in Florida.”

That this is likely Thornton’s final season in the league isn’t altogether surprising as his career has been winding down since he arrived in Florida. But he’s not the only player who could be riding off into the sunset following the upcoming campaign. Here are five other players potentially headed for retirement after 2016-17: Read more