The Vancouver Canucks made it official today, announcing Travis Green as their new head coach.
Green replaces Willie Desjardins, who was fired after three seasons on the job.
The past four years, Green has been the head coach of the Canucks’ AHL affiliate in Utica.
“Travis is a talented head coach who’s played a key role in the development of our young players through four seasons with the Comets,” said GM Jim Benning in a statement. “He has an intense desire to win and build a team identity that is hardworking, responsible on both ends of the ice and competitive. He has an excellent understanding of where we are as an organization and we’re confident in his ability to help build our team and develop a winning culture.”
Green, a former forward who played over 1,000 NHL games including the playoffs, will take over a transitioning Vancouver roster. He was hired in large part to develop the club’s young players.
“You need young players, and you need them to play,” Green said in an interview with the Canucks’ website.
Of course, the need for youth in the lineup doesn’t mean Green will be gifting anything to anyone.
“I expect a lot out of my players,” he said. “I’m demanding. Expectations will be high. But players want that. They want to be held accountable. There’s going to be a lot of communication between myself and the players. I believe in it. I want them to trust me. I want the best for my players.”
It’s going to be a tough job for Green, who’s never coached in the NHL. While the Canucks do have some promising youngsters, they still need to accumulate more as they move on from the Sedin era.
“I want to start to develop a culture that breeds winning,” said Green. “You know, that’s a process. That takes some time. But that starts today.”