Avs hire Hartley as coach

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The Colorado Avalanche didn't waste any time in finding a successor to coach Marc Crawford who stunned Colorado by resigning last week. The Avs hired Bob Hartley as their new head coach.

"I am thrilled and excited, yes, but also confident and convinced that I will be able to fulfill my duties very well," Hartley said.

Hartley has spent the last two years as the head coach of of the Hershey (Pa.) Bears of the American Hockey League, a Colorado farm team. He has no prior NHL coaching experience but Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix expressed his confidence in Hartley.

"I am convinced that he is ready to coach at the highest level in the National Hockey League," Lacroix said. "Bob is without a doubt part of the elite group of the young coaches in professional hockey today. In my mind he represents the logical choice for the future of the hockey club."

Meanwhile, Crawford has been rumored to take over the Toronto Maple Leafs altough Mike Murphy is still the coach in Toronto. Crawford has a year left in his contract with the Avalanche who can ask compensation from any team willing to hire Crawford during that time.

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