Patrick Roy out, Jared Bednar in

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Patrick Roy out, Jared Bednar in

Brendan Jordan, Sports Editor

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By Brendan Jordan

With training camp being less than a month away, the Colorado Avalanche found themselves in a rapid search for a new head coach.

When you mention the Avalanche here in Colorado, one thing that’s talked about the most is the alumni team that won the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001. One key contributor to the team’s success was goaltender, Patrick Roy, who is known here in Colorado as the best goalie to ever put on the Avalanche sweater. With 262 wins in eight seasons, he sure has earned that title.

However, these last three years Roy has been the head coach and Vice President of hockey operations for the Avalanche. It came as good news to Avalanche fans when they heard about their beloved Roy returning to the team. Yet, within the last two weeks, that feeling has faded away, as Roy announced on Aug. 11 that he would be resigning all of his positions with the Colorado Avalanche organization.

This announcement from Roy shocked all of the hockey world, including Avalanche General Manager Joe Sakic, who led the Avalanche to their two Stanley Cup championships along with Patrick Roy. Sakic was “Definitely caught off guard” with Roy’s sudden departure.

“He was a big part of this organization, as a player and staff member. However, it was overall Patrick’s decision. When he came to me, we talked about it and I had him make the final decision,” said Sakic in an interview with Mike Chambers of the Denver Post.

On Thursday, Aug. 25, the Avalanche announced they had hired Jared Bednar as the new head coach. Bednar played mainly in junior leagues in the late 90’s in the Western Hockey League (WHL), East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), and American Hockey League (AHL). However, most recently, he coached the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL), to a Calder Cup championship in the 2015-16 season.

“This is a great organization with a good group of young players. I’m excited to get to work.” said Bednar in an interview with Kyle Keefe of Altitude Sports.

Bednar brings a championship mentality to the Avalanche after coming off a tremendous season with the Monsters. In their 76-game regular season, the Monsters had a record of 43 wins, 22 losses, and six overtime losses, leaving them in second place in the Central Division. The Monsters, under Bednar’s coaching, defeated the number-one team in the league, the Toronto Marlies, in the Western Conference Finals in five games, then later went on to sweep the Hershey Bears in the Calder Cup Finals to secure their first Calder Cup championship in franchise history. All of this was under Bednar’s coaching, and most Avalanche fans would say that’s fantastic.

In the short span of two weeks, the Colorado Avalanche have gone from losing a coach who was once a terrific NHL player, to having a new face behind the bench that hasn’t ever played or coached in the NHL. For Avalanche fans, it’s been hectic. The Avalanche are in for an interesting 2016-17 season coming up in the next month.