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Jared Bednar saw the big picture

April 2018

Before the Colorado Avalanche hired Jared Bednar, he had never coached in the NHL. But in two seasons, he led one of the biggest turnarounds in NHL history and I had to figure out how he did it. The secret was a trick he learned about real estate.

 

From flipping houses to flipping the Avs, how coach Jared Bednar remade Colorado’s NHL franchise

There’s a large house two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean near Charleston, S.C., that five years ago was an empty lot. A little grass, some dirt and scattered trash. It wasn’t a large lot — it easily could have been mistaken as part of the neighbor’s unkept side yard — and it certainly didn’t draw the attention of most passersby.

But Jared Bednar is different. He’s always been. Nothing is ever what it is; it’s what it could be.

He didn’t see a desolate space. He saw a five bedroom, 4 ½ bath home. A hot tub and a pool. Modern architecture to contrast the traditional beach look of every other house on the street. That lot was his future.

And the Colorado Avalanche wasn’t a down-on-its-luck franchise with a coach that abandoned it. Bednar saw a Stanley Cup contender.


“Back when we were coaching together, Jared was flipping houses and taking advantage of the market. I want to say he had a dozen properties at one time (make that more than 24, Bednar said), and I’m not talking Boardwalk. These were rough properties, Baltic and Mediterranean, that he saw potential in,” said Jason Fitzsimmons, a scout for the Washington Capitals. “But as the result, he saw the big picture. And the big picture was to build this house on the beach that he and his wife, Susan, would ultimately retire in.”

Bednar paid $210,000 for that property, records show. Its estimated value today? North of $1.5 million.

As for Bednar’s Avs? They had a league-low 48 points last season, his first on the job. Wednesday they’re trying to even the series against the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs’ first round. Regardless of whether they advance to the conference semifinals, the young Avs appear set to make noise in the NHL for years to come with a coach who saw what could be in Denver.