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Avalanche name Bednar head coach

The Colorado Avalanche have named Jared Bednar as the franchise’s new head coach. Bednar becomes the seventh head coach in Avalanche history and the 15th in franchise history.

“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 executive vice president/general manager 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.”

Bednar, 44, guided the Columbus Blue Jackets’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, to the 2016 Calder Cup championship, finishing second in the Central Division (43-22-6-5) in the regular season before going 15-2 during the postseason, including sweeps of Ontario in the Western Conference Finals and Hershey in the Calder Cup Finals.

The 2015-16 campaign marked Bednar’s 14th season in professional coaching, including the last seven in the AHL. Before guiding Lake Erie, Bednar was an assistant coach for Columbus’s affiliate in Springfield from 2012-14 and was the Falcons’ head coach in 2014-15. Prior to that, he was head coach of the Peoria Rivermen from 2010-12, and served as an assistant with the Abbotsford Heat in 2009-10.

A native of Yorkton, Sask., Bednar played nine seasons of professional hockey, including AHL stints with the St. John’s Maple Leafs and Rochester Americans.

Bednar becomes the ninth current NHL head coach with a Calder Cup championship on his resume, joining Vancouver’s Willie Desjardins (Texas, 2014), Detroit’s Jeff Blashill (Grand Rapids, 2013), Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper (Norfolk, 2012), Minnesota’s Bruce Boudreau (Hershey, 2006), Edmonton’s Todd McLellan (Houston, 2003), Nashville’s Peter Laviolette (Providence, 1999), Columbus’s John Tortorella (Rochester, 1996) and Washington’s Barry Trotz (Portland, 1994).