Avalanche sign coach Jared Bednar to 3-year extension

The Colorado Avalanche are set behind the bench for the foreseeable future following their announcement Tuesday of a three-year extension for Jared Bednar, the winningest head coach in franchise history.

Financial terms of the deal, which kicks in once Bednar's current contract runs out after the 2023-24 season, were not disclosed.

"Jared has done a tremendous job behind the bench and certainly deserves this extension and to continue as the leader of our team," Joe Sakic, the team's president of hockey operations, said in a statement.

Bednar, 51, joined the Avalanche ahead of the 2016-17 season. He has a 240-168-46 record with the club and guided them to a Stanley Cup championship last June. Bednar is now signed with the team through the 2026-27 season.

"Being able to lead this team over the last seven years has been a privilege," said Bednar, whose team faces the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. "I am grateful and excited to have the opportunity to continue building on what we've accomplished so far."

Colorado was in a serious state of flux when it offered Bednar his first NHL coaching job. The Avalanche had failed to make the playoffs in five of their six previous seasons when former coach -- and Avalanche legend -- Patrick Roy surprisingly stepped down over what he said was a lack of input in personnel decisions.

Bednar was hired just two weeks later, on Aug. 26, 2016.

That eleventh-hour appointment forced Bednar to retain Roy's assistants instead of hiring his own, and didn't allow much time for the new coach to get to know his team prior to training camp. Bednar battled through that adversity to lead Colorado to a postseason appearance during the 2017-18 season, and the team has been back every year since.

The Avalanche went an impressive 16-4 during last year's playoffs before defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Cup Final.

"His strength as a communicator, his relationship with the players, the way he prepares each and every day is a huge reason our team has been so successful," general manager Chris MacFarland said. "He is an exceptional leader."

That title made Bednar the first coach ever to win a championship in the ECHL, AHL and NHL. He previously earned a Kelly Cup with the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays and a Calder Cup with the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.