CHARLESTON, S.C. – Jared Bednar is a Canadian-born Carolina resident but he doesn’t hang it hat in the Lowcountry during hockey season, anymore. The former South Carolina Stingrays’ player, assistant coach, and head coach was hired as the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, becoming the first ever Stingray to get a head-coaching job in the NHL.
The team confirmed the hire on their twitter account.
Bednar played for the Stingrays from 1995-1998 and 1999-2002, playing defenseman for the Stingrays as they captured the Kelly Cup in 1997 and 2001.
After retiring as a player, Bednar was an assistant with the organization from 2002-2007. He took over head coaching duties from Jason Fitzsimmons before the 2007-2008 season.
Bednar’s experience as an assistant served him well in his first season, his Stingrays’ club won 47 regular season games and were only one playoff series win from an appearance in the Kelly Cup Finals.
In 2008-2009, Bednar’s Stingrays’ squad took the next step, bringing home the franchise’s third Kelly Cup trophy.
After winning the cup, Bednar took the next step in his coaching career, becoming an assistant coach in the American Hockey League with the Abbotsford Heat, before leading the Peoria River (AHL) as their head coach from 2010-2012.
From 2012-2015, Bednar served as an assistant with the Columbus Blue Jackets AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons/Lake Erie Monsters.
In 2015, Bednar took over as head coach of Lake Erie, leading the team to a Calder Cup championship in his first season at the helm.
Now Bednar is the first ever former Stingrays’ player or coach to become a head coach in the NHL.
Stingrays’ president Rob Concannon played with Bednar on the Stingrays, he says there is no one more deserving of an NHL job than his former teammate.