(Denver) Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar has signed a three-year contract extension that will see him lead the defending Stanley Cup champions through the 2026-27 season.

The new contract will come into effect once the current contract expires, i.e. after the 2023-2024 season.

The 51-year-old Bednar is the only man to have won championships in the ECHL, AHL and NHL as a head coach. Last season, he led the Avalanche to the third Stanley Cup in franchise history, defeating the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Jared has done a tremendous job behind the bench and certainly deserves this contract extension, as well as continuing as the leader of our team,” Avalanche president of hockey operations Joe Sakic said in a statement.

Bednar hadn’t had the best of starts in his first season with the Avalanche. In 2016-2017, his team had amassed only 48 points (22-56-4) to finish last in the league. Since then, Bednar and the Avalanche have been running at full speed.

The team became the first in the NHL to go from last to first place in four seasons or less since the Boston Bruins in 1970-71, according to team research.

Additionally, Bednar led the Avalanche to five straight playoff appearances, closing in on a sixth this year, to become the first Avalanche coach to accomplish the feat.

“His strength as a communicator, his relationship with the players, the way he prepares every day is a huge reason why our team has done so well,” said general manager Chris MacFarland. He is an exceptional leader. »

Bednar is currently the third-longest-serving head coach in the league, behind Jon Cooper of the Lightning (March 2013) and Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins (December 2015).