Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports

Canucks add two assistant coaches, round out coaching staff

The Vancouver Canucks have locked in their bench for next season, announcing the hiring of Newell Brown and Nolan Baumgartner as assistant coaches.

The two will join an already revamped core of mentors; Manny Malholtra and Glenn Carnegie have seen changes to their roles this spring to add additional responsibility (Malholtra is now an assistant while Carnegie is supposedly doing more under his skill coach duties), while Dan Cloutier, Doug Jarvis, and Ben Cooper remain in their usual positions to support new head coach Travis Green.

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For Brown, this is a bit of a reunion, having been Vancouver’s assistant for three years between 2010/11 and 2012/13. In between tours of duty, he spent four years as an assistant in Glendale with the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, and also has NHL experience with Anaheim, Columbus, and Chicago. The 55-year-old Brown has been coaching high level for most of his life now; he got his start with Michigan State University in 1987/88.

Baumgartner, who played over 1000 professional games as a player, comes to the big club after spending four years in the same role under Green with the Utica Comets. He’s actually been in the organization¬†for a year longer, though, also holding the role in Vancouver’s last year of affiliation with the Chicago Wolves.

Speaking of the Wolves and the Comets, today also brings news that Chicago have delayed Utica’s search for a new head coach by just a little bit. Rocky Thompson, who was sought by several teams to make the leap back into the pro ranks, was picked up by the Vegas Golden Knights to oversee their AHL affiliate.

Both hirings are pretty easy to get behind. While they’re hardly “shoot for the moon” acquisitions, Baumgartner is already familiar to Green and aware of his systems and executions, while Brown was around for some of the Canucks’ best years ever. Having two types of familiarity from staffers with good track records is hard to complain about at first glance.

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  • 5forBoarding

    “Having two types of familiarity from staffers with good track records is hard to complain about at first glance.”

    Don’t worry I have faith in your ability to spin this negatively on Benning.

  • Good. Another thing for Jim Benning to scratch off his to do list. Travis Green certainly has himself surrounded by familiar faces, which should ease his transition to the big show. I for one look forward to fresh ideas behind the bench. Willie really got on my nerves towards the end.

    Looks like the search for Utica’s next coach took a step back today. I think Rocky Thompson was the #1 option. I can’t think of anyone within our organization to fill this job. Can you?

    • Rusty

      It is a personnel issue, not a coaching issue. Nothing good is going to happen with the power play until we stop playing the Sedins as our #1 unit. They have become way too predictable and teams have figured out their power play tendencies.

      • truthseeker

        please….they’re the only two who could complete a pass. Twins are absolutely fine together on the power play. It’s everyone else standing around expecting them to do everything.

        • Pat Quinn Way

          More outdated horsesh*t thinking from the know-nothing serial poster with no life ‘truthseeker’.

          Just like Tanev’s game (defenders who don’t rack up points, skate fast, make a quick outlet pass or jump into the rush like the Pens/Preds) The Sedins on the PP are totally defunkt. Their dull perimeter cycle game is as outdated as Benning’s haircut and that is the main reason why we have, and will continue to have, one of the worst PP’s in the league. The numbers and the eye test simply don’t lie. Get rid of the twins on the PP asap!

  • I’d like to know who was in charge of the power play before Newell. From 2010/2011 to 2012/2013, the PP% actually declined from 24.3% to 15.8% with Newell running it. From 2008/2009 to 2009/2010, the PP% increased to 17.1%, 19.0% and 21.2% respectively.

      • The years and numbers are from NHL.com so they’re accurate. You’re correct in that the PP% peaked in 2010-2011 at 24.3% but it appears that during the time that Newell was here, it actually dropped from the high of 24.3% to 15.8%.

        • DJ_44

          So, you have two seasons (2008/2009 and 2009/2010) and three numbers. Perhaps a more accurate statement would be that, under Brown, the PP improved from 09/10 20.4% (6th) to the league best 24.3%, then 11/12 19.8%(4th) and 12/13 15.8% (22nd).

          • I stand corrected. But the point that I make, which was also identified in Carol Schram’s Hockeybuzz column, is that overall, the PP% declined when he was around and eventually he was let go. The numbers do raise the question as to what happened and what role Brown played in it.

  • Ranger2k2

    I think every one knew that Nolan Baumgartner was going to join Travis Green. Newell Brown on the other hand is bit of surprise but smart of Green to get someone that has a lot of NHL experience particularly with special teams. It is also a bonus that he has worked with the Canucks in the past.

    My only concern is that Canucks Power Play was so good during his time here that he might have an itch to go back to the old habits (ie an Edler drop pass to the Sedin twins). If Green and Brown rely on the Sedins to be the number one Power Play unit then we can expect another year of being one of the worst Power Play teams in the league. Hopefully Green and Brown can bring some new ideas and a fresh approach because it really won’t take much to improve on last years debacle on special teams.

  • Pat Quinn Way

    Absolutely love these hires. Why? Because every ‘safe’, uninspiring, bonehead move i am seeing brings the axe closer to falling on the embarrassment that is Jim Benning as our GM. You know, the draft ‘guru’ who has ONE pick out of 21 currently on the team!

    Look at this gong show guys lol – Green, Baumgartner and Brown… the league must be quaking in their Italian Loafers over these three stooges. Geez – could it get any worse? Uhh YES and it will I promise you.

    Carry on making joke moves like this Benning – tick-tock.