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McKenzie: Canucks set to hire Green as new head coach

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie and barring set backs, the Vancouver Canucks are set to sign Travis Green as the team’s 19th head coach in franchise history.

Green, who has coached the Canucks AHL affiliate Utica Comets for four season has lead them to a 154-109-39 record which includes a run at the Calder Cup in 2015.

McKenzie suggested two weeks ago that Travis Green was a likely frontrunner for the Canucks job and now it’s come to fruition.

In the days since Dejardins firing, Canucks Army has profiled candidates going in depth about their background and whether or not they would be a fit.

Vanessa Jang asked on April 16 if Travis Green was a lock for head coach, while J.D. Burke did a great profile on Green two days later.

Green, a Castlegar, B.C. native played for five the New York Islanders, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins over his 14-year career.

His first year as a head coach saw him take over from Mike Johnston with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks in 2012-2013. The team went 37-8-2 in a WHL Championship winning season.

The following year he was hired on by the Utica Comets.

Stay tuned to Canucks Army for more information as it becomes available.

    • Green Bastard

      Unfortunately, I don’t believe Jordan will have anything more than a sniff at the NHL. Pedan maybe, as he has good size and seemed to hold his own when he was called up last season? If I’m correct, most times when there is a call up to the farm team, management here usually asks the farm team staff, “Who deserves a shot?”, the coach of the farm team makes a recommendation. IF Travis has ever said “Jordan”, then maybe it was kiboshed on this end.

      • Killer Marmot

        If Subban isn’t going to make it as an NHL defenseman then he should be moved up to the wing where his offensive skills can be put to better use, and his defensive liabilities are not so costly.

        There’s little to lose, for him or the club. If they can try it for Biega and Pedan, they can do the same for Subban.

        • Neil B

          Sure, why not? Then utilize Subban on the second PP unit the way Columbus uses Gagner: 4th line F/power play QB specialist (in Gagner’s case, it doesn’t hurt to have Werenski out there with him).

          • wojohowitz

            It is a big part of the equation. Is Green flexible enough to use Subban`s strengths with the puck and not let his defensive liabilities limit his potential. May be it was Willie`s biggest problem – insisting every player play a 200 foot game which lead to the lowest scoring Canuck team ever.

    • If Subban can QB a power play but needs to be sheltered 5v5, it’s still worth it. At least his trade value would improve and you could trade him later for a more two-way defenceman and let Hutton/Stecher QB the power play.

      • Fred-65

        What’s the difference between Stecher or Subban on the PP …. lets be honest the Sedins run the PP. Stecher can be trusted on defence apparently Subban not so much. When Stecher arrived in Vcr that was the end of Subbans chance of playing for the Canucks

    • Freud

      Green recommended McEneny be called up over Subban. Green was healthy scratching Pedan towards the end of the season. Green has been fully involved in previous and current assessments of these two players.

    • DJ_44

      They may have already been assessed as AHL ready and NHL replacements. Pedan was generally on the top pairing in Utica. Subban was a #4#5#6 guy, that has a great point shot, but he is a not dynamic puck mover and a liability in his own zone.

      Why all the angst over a 4th rounder with obvious deficiencies? People have to accept that Jordan is not PK, and similarities ends at the last name.

      • truthseeker

        No…he might not be. But the kid needs to at least be given a shot.

        The NHL is not the AHL. There are going to be guys who just “fit” the NHL better than they do the AHL. The canucks need to make sure before they give up on him. Give him some decent opportunity and see how it works out.

  • Pat Quinn Way

    Unbelievable. Another ‘play-safe-short-sighted disaster in the making here imo. There really is no rush to make a coaching hire before next training camp, Big teams with cup winning pedigree like Chicago and LA are firing quality left and right, so why not wait and see who comes onto the market instead of hiring a Willie D 2.0 yes man without the Calder on his resume.

    You only have to look at Edmonton, Nashville and even Ottawa to see how you build a contender.

    Clueless organisation under the current regime – no wonder the likes of Kes, Burr and Tryamkin bolted!

    Very p’eed off with this hire.

    • Killer Marmot

      There really is no rush to make a coaching hire before next training camp

      Green’s contract with Utica has lapsed, and he may well become unavailable during the summer. If the Canucks want his services, they should be quick about it.

      • Pat Quinn Way

        Who cares mate, there are much bigger and better fish in the sea – other NHL teams aren’t falling over themselves to hire Travis Green as head coach ffs… well maybe they are in Canuck dreamers minds, you know, the same ones who said Tryamkin is the next Zdeno Chara lol

        • Killer Marmot

          other NHL teams aren’t falling over themselves to hire Travis Green as head coach

          By your logic, if Green is available then he is no good. Reminds me of a joke:

          Two economists are walking down the street. One of them walks over a $20 bill lying on the sidewalk. The second economist asks “Why didn’t you pick up that up?” The first replies “If it were a real $20 bill then someone would have picked it up already.”

          • Pat Quinn Way

            Let me make it simple for you – I want to see a Stanley Cup (contender) in Vancouver and hiring a guy who has been passed on by Anaheim and Calgary already, who has won nothing as an NHL player or as coach of the Comets in the AHL and who is a carbon copy of Willie D in his coaching style and philosophies is not going to make that happen.

            End of story.

          • Killer Marmot

            who has won nothing as an NHL player or as coach of the Comets in the AHL

            I like the “as Coach of the Comets” bit, because then you don’t have to acknowledge that he led the Portland Winterhawks to the WHL championship in 2013.

            And I also like the “won” bit, because then you don’t have to acknowledge that he led Utica to the Calder Cup finals in 2015, losing to the Manchester Monarchs, who were also the previous year’s champion.

            Not bad for a four-year head coaching career.

    • There is a bit of a rush because we have the expansion draft, entry draft and free agency coming up. The head coach should available to give input into roster decisions (e.g. can we expose Sutter, how many Comets will be called up instead of hiring UFA’s for NHL roster spots, what’s the strategy for drafting throughout all of the rounds, etc.).

    • DJ_44

      Hmmm…Edmonton, Nashville, and Ottawa eh?

      Let’s look at the paths they took.. Edmonton has been lost for over a decade, and only have started to regain contenting form with an incredible stroke of luck named McDavid. So their strategy is luck. Pray for rain sort of thing.

      Nashville has been threatening contention for the same decade that the Oilers were brutal. Their strategy, near as I can deduce….build from the net out…..load up on quality defensemen. Pull in some good forwards, then trade defence for forwards. Not a lot different then what the Canucks started three years ago. This did not happen overnight.

      And finally Ottawa…..a re-tool on the flly sort of re-build; some good trades, some not so good….and drafting one Erik Karlsson at #15.

      Where’s the pattern in those three examples? That’s what I thought.

  • I hope this works out for the best. Travis Green is not my first choice, but he many work out fine.

    I don’t see where the change is gonna come from. How is Travis different from Willie? The argument that Travis is good with young players doesn’t jive with me, that same thing was said about Dallas Eakins in Edmonton. I would have hired an experienced NHL caliber coach to guide a young rebuilding team. Unfortunately, I don’t have the inside scoop on who is available, and who does or doesn’t want to be here, but it’s safe to say I would have done it different.

    I don’t see

    • I watched some Utica Comet power plays on Youtube and I’m very impressed with how it was run. The two major things that stand out are lots of puck and player movement and coordination. Players were constantly shifting around and exchanging positions, on a man-on-man defence, you can see how you can draw defenders out of position. The puck was constantly moving too, no one held the puck for more than 1-2 seconds, you could see the goaltender not being able to get set for one-timers from the point. When the shot was taken, you could see the structure. For example, in coordination with a one-timer shot, you could see 3 Utica players converge on the net for rebounds while the one who wasn’t in position fall back to the LD position to cover defensively. Based on those clips, I think the combination of Green with young players like Boeser, Horvat, Goldobin, Baertschi, Granlund, Stecher and Hutton will lead to a more exciting and successful power play.

    • truthseeker

      Well for starters….he’s not Willie or Dallas Eakins….lol…why would you even bring that guy up? He’s got nothing to do with Green.

      geezus…give the guy a chance….lol.

      It’s not like coaches can’t be fired easily enough. The Aqua’s may be a lot of things but they’re not afraid to dump money.

  • LTFan

    Well opinions are free, hence we have “Pat Quinn Way”. Let’s look at Green and his record. He played in the NHL for 15 Seasons and logged an impressive 970 games. He wasn’t a star player but did manage to get 70 points in 1995-96 Season with the NY Islanders. The point is he knows what it takes to play in the NHL and probably knows (cannot say for sure) what motivates players and what does not. IMO he is a good choice and with the players that JB has been stockpiling has a decent pool of prospects to work with. You read it here, the Canucks will be an improved team next year.

  • wojohowitz

    Travis Green has paid his dues after a 14 year playing career, 6 years as an assistant in Portland and 4 years in Utica. He must have learned a few things from Mats Sundin and Pat Quinn in Toronto and Ray Ferraro and Al Arbour with the Islanders. Much more recently he let Goldobin play and score – something that Willie refused to do. He also appears to be right about Jensen and Shinkaruk. He didn`t like Pedan very much but he did like Grenier.

    Also the Canucks are in a perfect position for a youngish coach. If it doesn`t work out it`s not the coaches fault – they`re just a lousy team and if he can make it work then he`s a genius.

    • Roy

      well of course he let Goldobin play…and you can trust me, no one is learning anything from Ray Ferraro other than how to hoot and gesticulate wildly. That guy is the worse colour commentator in hockey, and that includes mealy-mouthed Kelly Hrudey.

  • Fred-65

    I’m not sure if a new coach will make an inadequate roster that much better. We don’t need a new coach we need a magician … The change will be marginal until such time as we accumulate a number of tope quality prospects. How many coaches did TO & Edm go through. Their fortunes changed when Matthews/MacDavid arrived.

  • myshkin

    it’s probably a good hire but if benning and linden didn’t interview any other candidates, they should be replaced. it’s a crucial position in a multi million dollar business so the search should have been exhaustive.

    • TheRealRusty

      Why would that be a surprise since there was no apparent attempt to interview multiple more experience candidates when Linden was hired as President of Hovkey Ops?

  • TheRealRusty

    This is not the big name hire one would expect if ownership was driving this bus. I suspect that if this is GMJBTL’s hire, then it will also be their last hire….

  • Brent

    Surprised that they would hire another coach with no NHL coaching experience. Not like there is not other option out there. Have Travis be assistant coach and move up with the hear coach is made the inevitable scape goat.

  • Giant-Nation

    Relax – Greener ain’t taking us to the promised land. He may get us to the first round but the Canucks have 2-3 tough years ahead, it’s not about winning a cup in this Window, hence the rookie coach. Green has a purpose, there’s no magic in the bottle it’s going take a few years. Enjoy picking high and top talent traded for with Vets – there is no coach going to sprinkle ferry dust ….we will contend again just let the cycle push throughout with a coach that has inside line on our youth.

  • Holly Wood

    Nobody said this was gonna be easy to move back up the standings. I would sooner see Travis Green in there than some recycled coach who has worn out his welcome somewhere else. Darryl Sutter phhhht, give me a break. Green will have Doug Jarvis and Manny to lean on if need be. Other new assistants on the way as well. The PP has gone completely stale and predictable as has the breakout. If Canucks can somehow get a #1 center in this draft and work some of the recent prospects into the mix, that will be a move forward. I say unleash the dogs and lets open up the offence and get in those 5-4 games to keep the fans happy.

  • Rodeobill

    I guess he knows some of the players, I guess he probably will be better than willie strategically speaking and when it comes down to it, the real gamble here is whether or not he can help this team turn it around in a short window rather than mire good new talent that comes in in the next few years in a losing culture and ruin their development (like what happened in Oiltown) who really can say? We all have to wait and see now!

  • andyg

    Green suits this team for now. We are in a total rebuild and it is all about developing. Why not develop our own coach as well and let him grow with the Team. I would be seriously worked if they had of brought a big name in. This signals that management and the owners are all in on the rebuild. The owners must be giving the ” green light “.

  • Ken Priestlay Fan

    What would be the point of hiring a highly paid, ‘superstar’ coach at this point? The Canucks are going to be bad next season and probably the season after that. Sutter, Ruff, whoever, might be able to use their vast experience and coaching ability to get them a few spots up the NHL pecking order, maybe even a wildcard spot. But to what end? The only thing that’s going to achieve in the long term is missing out on one of the apparent diamonds at the top of the 2018 draft. Let Green come in, work with the youngsters and without any pressure and see what happens. Vancouver might have the next big thing behind the bench on their hands, they might not. But in 2 or 3 years time if Green isn’t cutting the mustard, a big name can come in and take over a squad of NHL-ready players in their early-to-mid 20s who are ready to compete