Bednar joins Falcons as assistant

The Springfield Falcons, primary affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, announced the addition on Monday of Jared Bednar as an assistant coach.

Bednar, who is signed under a multi-year contract, will serve under Falcons head coach Brad Larsen and alongside assistant coach Nolan Pratt beginning in the 2012-13 season.

"Jared is a guy who met all the criteria I was looking for in a coach," Larsen said. "Having head coaching experience, a strong work ethic, a strong passion for the game, and being a man of character were all things that were very important to the organization and me. Jared possesses all of these qualities and I look forward to working with him closely in the upcoming season."

"I am very thankful to Scott Howson and Chris MacFarland in Columbus for giving me this opportunity to join the Springfield Falcons organization and I’m excited about working with Brad Larsen and Nolan Pratt to create something special this coming year," Bednar said.

The 40-year-old Bednar spent the last two seasons as the head coach of the Peoria Rivermen, putting together records of 39-33-2-2 in 2011-12 and 42-30-3-5 in 2010-11. In his first year with the club, Bednar led Peoria to the Calder Cup Playoffs and was selected to be a co-coach for the Western Conference at the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic.

In 2009-10, his first season as a coach in the AHL, Bednar served as an assistant for Abbotsford, helping guide the Heat to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Bednar spent two seasons as a head coach and five as an assistant with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays from 2002-09, winning a league championship in 2009.

A native of Yorkton, Sask., Bednar put together a nine-year professional playing career as a physical defenseman from 1993-2002. He skated the majority of his playing days in the ECHL, winning championships with South Carolina in 1997 and 2001. He also participated in 74 AHL contests during his career with the Rochester Americans and St. John’s Maple Leafs.

The Blue Jackets and Falcons also announced on Monday that Springfield assistant coach Nolan Pratt has received a contract extension beyond the 2012-13 season.

Pratt completed his first year as a coach in 2011-12 with Springfield, helping the Falcons secure their best record since 1997-98 (36-34-3-3).

Prior to coaching, Pratt compiled a 16-year playing career as a defenseman, skating in 592 NHL contests. He helped both the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning and the 2001 Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup.