Bednar named head coach in Peoria

St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has named Jared Bednar as the head coach of the Peoria Rivermen, the Blues’ American Hockey League affiliate (AHL).

“The Blues organization is excited to announce Jared as our new head coach in Peoria,” said Davidson. “He brings coaching experience from the AHL and ECHL levels which includes an ECHL championship and he’ll be an excellent teacher for our young players.”

Bednar, 38, spent last season as an assistant coach with the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL. He helped guide the Heat to a 39-29-5-7 record and first-round playoff upset over the Rochester Americans.

Prior to joining Abbotsford, he spent seven seasons (2002-2009) with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays as an assistant coach, head coach and general manager. He was named head coach on April 27, 2007 and compiled an 89-45-9 record in two seasons. He took the Stingrays to the American Conference finals in his first season (2007-08) before being ousted by the eventual Kelly Cup Champion Cincinnati Cyclones. In 2008-09 he finished the job, guiding the club to the 2009 Kelly Cup over the Alaska Aces.

During his tenure with the ‘Rays, he coached 11 different players that have gone on to be a part of one or both of the Hershey Bears Calder Cup championships in 2009 and 2010.

Bednar played eight seasons in the ECHL and had 173 points (43 goals, 130 assists) and 1,210 penalty minutes in 434 regular season games and 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) along with 157 penalty minutes in 56 postseason games, helping the Stingrays capture the Kelly Cup in 1997 and 2001. He was the first person in ECHL history to win the Kelly Cup on three separate occasions.

The Yorkton, Sask., native also played 74 regular-season games in the AHL with St. John’s (1996-97) and Rochester (1997-98), and made one Calder Cup Playoff appearance with the Americans in 2000.

Jared and his wife, Susan, have two children, son, Kruz, and daughter, Savega.