Colorado Avalanche: How the Coaching is Working Out

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - NOVEMBER 10: Jared Bednar head coach of the Colorado Avalanche talks with Samuel Girardard
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - NOVEMBER 10: Jared Bednar head coach of the Colorado Avalanche talks with Samuel Girardard /

Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar has been announced as a finalist for the Jack Adams award.

Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar got his contract extended one day then got announced as a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy the next day.

Well, that may not be exactly how quickly it happened, but it did go something like that. During his post-season presser (I wish they did locker clean-out interviews like other teams, but at least this post-season presser has been pretty consistent), GM Joe Sakic announced the extension:

"“We’ve already agreed, so he’s going to be another year on top. I spoke to him, and we agreed on it last week.”"

Bednar’s original contract was for three years. He’s gone through two of those. So, according to Sakic, Bednar has two more years total. Here’s the rationale Sakic gave:

"“He has done and amazing job, that entire staff. Working with the players, the respect that the coaches and the players have for one another. They are doing an amazing job and keeping this team at an even-keel and never letting it slip. Jared will be here another year after that, for sure.”"

And, like I mentioned above, it was just announced today that Bednar is a finalist for the Jack Adams award for coaching.

A few thoughts about that. One, it’s pretty well-known that Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant is the heavy favorite because of what he’s done with the expansion team.

Two, I don’t agree with the rationale that Bednar turned the team around from a 48-point season to a 95-point season. He coached them to the 48-point season. It doesn’t seam fair to then reward him with an award for coaching the team to a record more representative of their talent.

Now, read this third point please before typing into the comments below that I’m hating on Bednar: What Jared Bednar has done is far more impressive than what people credit him with. He wasn’t a victim to the previous regime. Rather, he made a lot of mistakes. Bednar did something that’s very rare among humans — he recognized his mistakes, learned from them, and implemented his new knowledge.

Now, if the Avalanche make the playoffs again next year, then I’ll be on the Bednar for Jack Adams bandwagon because it will show the team is truly progressing.

However, that brings me to the fourth point. The Jack Adams award is often death to a coach’s career with that team. Often they win the award and go on to be fired or forced out. Maybe the award sets expectations too high. Bednar’s been doing a pretty good job with the Avs — do we want to risk seeing him fail?

Moving on to a little more coaching news.

Patrick Roy and Eric Veilleux

More from Mile High Sticking

The San Antonion Rampage parted ways with former head coach Eric Veilleux about a week ago. According to the Athletic’s Ryan Boulding, they wanted to start with a clean slate since the new AHL affiliate is going to be the Colorado Eagles based up in Loveland, Colorado.

However, it’s said that Veilleux will return to the QMJHL to coach. If so, he may be reunited with his former fellow coach, Patrick Roy. Roy was still the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche when Veilleux was hired for the Rampage.

And Patrick Roy is taking over the Quebec Remparts again. According to numerous hockey insiders, the Remparts will announce tomorrow that Roy will once again take over as GM and coach of the Remparts.

I think that’s a fantastic fit for our player-hero. As a former goalie — Hockey Hall of Fame goalie — maybe he really does function best on his own, like he did in his playing days. Being the all to the Remparts again will probably lead them back to their glory days — they’ve only made the playoffs once since he left.

That will tide Roy over until Quebec gets an NHL team again, and he’ll be their all.

Next: Interpreting Sakic's Presser

In any case, the Colorado Avalanche had a terrific turnaround year. And coach Bednar played a big role in that turnaround. I’m glad he’s getting the recognition he deserves.