Travis Green will be returning as Canucks head coach after the two sides worked out a multi-year extension.
Green has compiled a 125-132-32 record in four seasons behind the Canucks’ bench. After leading them to the Second Round in 2020, he faced massive issues this season, such as injuries to star players and the COVID-19 outbreak that paused their season for over three weeks.
“We are excited to have Travis Green continue to lead the Canucks as head coach and move forward from a challenging year to focus on future seasons,” said GM Jim Benning in a statement. Our plan has always been to draft and develop a young core and surround them with supporting players who can help us win. We have some of the best young players in the NHL and I believe Travis is the right coach to help us achieve team success and a return to the playoffs.”
Canucks players have been vocal in support of Green recently as speculation grew about whether he would return.
“He’s been great towards me and he’s been great with the team, so we’d like to see him back for sure,” said Canucks captain Bo Horvat.
“He came in set a good standard, a higher standard of what players need to do, and built more of a winning culture here,” said veteran defenseman Alex Edler. “I think we’ve been getting better every year, not counting this year. He set the bar higher and held everyone accountable.”
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Prior to taking the Canucks job, Green coached their AHL affiliate in Utica for four seasons. He led the Comets to the playoffs twice, including a run to the Calder Cup Final.
This is the first decision of an important offseason for the Canucks and Benning. Attention can now move to extensions for cornerstone pieces in Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson. Both are restricted free agents, but only Hughes is considered a “10.2(c) player,” meaning he has not accrued enough NHL seasons to be eligible for an offer sheet, per Cap Friendly.
Now that Green’s future is settled, and the Red Wings extended Jeff Blashill, the Blue Jackets, Coyotes, Kraken, and Rangers are the only NHL teams without head coaches.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.