Hiring Jared Bednar back in August was an interesting move by the Colorado Avalanche. While the Avs certainly needed a change from the disastrous Patrick Roy tenure, hiring Bednar, a career minor league coach, was met with mixed reviews.
So far, the 44-year-old’s first season in Denver has been ugly. It has been nothing short of a a full-scale disaster in Colorado. Under Bednar’s guidance, the Avalanche have won just 17 of 62 games. While nobody expected the Avs to compete for a Stanley Cup this season, they are currently sitting at an abysmal 37 total points in the standings.
Bednar could possibly be a great NHL coach one day. He earned his place in the NHL with a Calder Cup-winning season with the AHL Lake Erie Monsters. To blame him for all the Avs struggles would be somewhat unfair, especially given the tough situation the Avs and him were presented when Roy aprubtly quit two months before the season began. But, despite all the optimism he’d take a shoddy team and turn them around, Bednar has seemingly made them worse.
Plenty of people were high on the hiring.
If the Avs hire Bednar, they would be getting arguably the AHL's top head coach. He had done exceptional work long before winning the Cup.
— PATRICK WILLIAMS (@pwilliamsNHL) August 19, 2016
In a Puck Daddy piece titled “Save By Sakic: Jared Bednar and return of Colorado Avalanche,” Greg Wyshynski wrote:
“The easy analysis is to say that this is addition by subtraction.”
“Bednar gets it when it comes to how you have to play in today’s NHL. It’s not enough to demand speed and aggression – Roy did, quite frankly.”
While the Avalanche have minimally increased their shot attempts this season, the Avs are still poor at generating shots.
Colorado’s general manager Joe Sakic, of course, was high on Bednar…
Jared Bednar a great fit for Joe Sakic & the #Avs.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) August 26, 2016
“We’re very confident and comfortable with Jared leading our group,” Sakic told NHL.com. “I like the way his teams play. I think it suits and fits with how we play. We have a fast forward group and that up-tempo, pressure game all over the ice is, first of all exciting, and it will suit our team.”
Some liked the personality difference between Bednar and Roy…
#Avs new HC Jared Bednar may be good, smells like hiring Anti-Patrick Roy, Sakic decided Avs wanted coach who would just shut up & coach
— Kent McHallington (@NFLMcHollington) August 26, 2016
Unfortunately, as some hoped, Bednar didn’t show the Colorado players their true potential thus far…
Terrific hire by the #Avs. Jared Bednar is going to show Colorado's players their real potential this season. Central Division got harder.
— Nicholas Hand (@Nick_Hand) August 25, 2016
Jared Bednar makes a good impression. Maybe the Avs stole themselves a real good coach. Time, as they say, will tell
— Adrian Dater (@adater) August 31, 2016
Colorado is a young team, clearly not ready to compete with the big boys of the Western Conference. This was not unexpected. However, it is somewhat surprising how bad the Avalanche have been under Bednar. Now, the skeptics as to whether he could revitalize the once proud franchise are in full force. One must wonder if he even makes it beyond this season.