Departing Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army, who has been with the team for six seasons under three head coaches, said Wednesday night he wasn’t surprised when general manager Joe Sakic told him Tuesday that the team wasn’t exercising the club option for the second year of the two-year contract he signed in 2016.

“I honestly expected something would happen, based on the year that we had,” Army said from his off-season home near Portland, Maine. “You have to make some changes. I get it. But even though you expect it, it still stings and it still hurts and it’s disappointing. But when you win 22 games, something has to happen and I understand that part of the sport. … I’ll be angry at some point, but right now it’s too new.”

Coming off a 22-56-4 season, the worst in the NHL since the expansion Atlanta Thrashers in 1999-2000, the Avalanche announced Tuesday that three assistants — Army, Dave Farrish and goaltending guru Francois Allaire — wouldn’t return to head coach Jared Bednar‘s staff next season. Farrish is believed to have one year remaining on a three-year deal.

All three were holdovers from Patrick Roy‘s staff, under contract and remaining with the Avalanche after Roy’s sudden departure last August. The Avalanche said Sakic wouldn’t comment on the changes until replacements were hired, and Bednar wasn’t made available to discuss them, either.

Army, previously an assistant at Anaheim and Washington and a head coach in the AHL and at Providence College, said he believed he got along well with Bednar, including in their discussions this week, even after Sakic told Army he wouldn’t be back.

“As much as it hurts and I would like to come back, I get it,” Army said. “I think it’s more Joe and upper management. I think Jared had to be comfortable with it. But I think we worked really well together and the staff worked well together. It obviously didn’t show in the wins, but it always takes time to get used to somebody new. I’m talking about a head coach, it takes some time to get used to his rhythm and simple things like where to place pucks in the practices.

“From my standpoint, I think we worked well together and fit well together and it even was positive since the end of the season. But I think, ultimately, upper management felt like they needed to make a change.”

What went wrong this season?

“I don’t think there was any one thing,” said Army, who then mentioned the decent 9-9 start and the 0-4-1 homestand that started the downward spiral.

“It started there for us,” he added. “We never seemed to be able to get any traction after that, we never seemed able to build on anything.”

He also cited the injuries to defenseman Erik Johnson (broken leg), goaltender Semyon Varlamov (groin muscle issues and season-ending hip surgery) and even a Matt Duchene concussion that, in retrospect, seemed to derail his season.

“We were better over the last 20 games, though it didn’t show in a lot of wins, but I think the young guys gave us a spark,” Army said. “I think that youth movement added more speed to our lineup late. We were not a quick lineup and it’s tough now, you watch the games now, you even watch the first round of the playoffs, the teams are so fast. We weren’t fast enough and it’s a speed game now. We weren’t quick enough. … I think there were a lot of balls in the air, with the injuries and then we didn’t have the depth to compensate for it. We didn’t tighten up and we always found a way to let the games get away from us.”

Under Army’s watch, the Avalanche’s power play was the worst in the league, and Colorado got a baffling lack of production from “core” forwards Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabe Landeskog.