Avalanche: patience paid off

In office since the start of the 2016-2017 campaign, Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar was far from a Stanley Cup title when he made his debut as a pilot for the club, except that the wait was worth it.

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At the time, the « Avs » did not represent a power in the National Hockey League.

Moreover, they had finished the regular calendar in last place in the general classification with only 22 victories. The whole thing followed his somewhat impromptu hiring, carried out after the resignation of Patrick Roy a month before the training camp.

However, the foundations of a champion team were already in place with the presence of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, among others.

They allowed the team to move up the ranks quickly, which followed with 43 wins and a playoff appearance in 2017-2018, then, a few years later, the Presidents’ Trophy last year.

The rest is known and Sunday’s climax is the result of a good understanding of the whole organization, according to Bednar.

“I would like to thank Joe [Sakic] and the group of owners for trusting me. I could be the guy who could help us win and they were patient with me giving me the opportunity to come back year after year.

Avalanche: patience paid off

Often, this league does not forgive, he mentioned to NHL.com, referring to Sakic, its general manager. We built on that.”

Also, the perseverance and the fact of having bet on the same core over the years makes the coach very proud of this conquest of the Stanley Cup, the first of the concession since 2001.

« It’s the most important thing and it’s really satisfying, because it had been a year [2016-2017] difficult and since then, we have built the formation. The course was filled with good times and heartbreaking events, Bednar recalled.

“We were able to win with those guys and a few were there when I started as a rookie. We have drawn as a group – me, Joe and his staff, as well as all the players who have been part of the club – in this long adventure and there is an immense feeling of duty accomplished.

Supported by its players

On the troopers’ side, they certainly congratulate themselves on their successes, but are happy to have seen the management advocating patience, even in disappointing times.

The recent years would have been more interesting without eliminations considered too hasty, but the past is now a distant memory of everyone in Denver.

« The 2016-17 season was rock bottom and we didn’t expect to be here one day, certainly not in five or six years, » Landeskog admitted.

On the other hand, it shows the managers’ patience with Jared. They were accommodating with us, they didn’t turn everything upside down after a second or third round loss. They continued to believe in us.


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