The AHL’s Cleveland Monsters just won a Calder Cup championship under head coach Jared Bednar – but now, they’ll attempt to continue their success under former New Jersey Devils center John Madden, instead.
The Monsters confirmed on Monday morning that Madden, who has spent the last three seasons serving as an assistant coach of the Florida Panthers, will take over as head coach of the AHL affiliate. He’ll replace Bednar, who was hired as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche last week following the departure of Patrick Roy from the Central Division club.
Undrafted at the NHL level, the 43-year-old Madden played most of his NHL career with the New Jersey Devils, where he won two of his three Stanley Cups. He would ultimately take home his third and final NHL championship with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, leaving him with three Stanley Cups, three CCHA collegiate division championships, and one NCAA championship to his name during his playing career.
Unlike Bednar, who never played at the highest level, this will give the Monsters a coach with considerable NHL experience.
More than that, though, Madden and the Panthers have a fairly successful track record over the last three years. They’ve gone from rebuilding to winning the Atlantic Division in that time period; if the former assistant coach is able to replicate that kind of track record with the Monsters, they’ll remain a solidly coached farm system. Per the team’s official press release:
“John Madden has a winning pedigree, having been a part of three Stanley Cup championships and a collegiate national championship as a player and being a part of the coaching staff that helped the Florida Panthers become one of the NHL’s most improved clubs over the past three seasons,” said Zito. “He is a smart, energetic young coach who we believe to be the best person to lead our prospects in Cleveland.”