Canucks fire Travis Green, hire Bruce Boudreau

Canucks confirm Boudreau will replace Green as head coach

The Vancouver Canucks confirmed significant changes, including Bruce Boudreau replacing Travis Green as head coach. In addition to that, Nolan Baumgartner was fired, with Scott Walker taking on an assistant coaching job.

Also: Jim Benning is out as GM, as is John Weisbrod as assistant GM. Stan Smyl was named as interim GM, while there’s also an interim assistant GM (Ryan Johnson).

Here’s the portion of the Canucks’ statement that addressing Boudreau and other coaching matters. Read the full statement here.

“I am excited to add Bruce Boudreau as our new Head Coach, and Scott as Assistant. Bruce is one of the most experienced coaches in the NHL, with nearly 1,000 games behind the bench and a successful track record working with some of the game’s best talent. Scott is a young coach with an excellent reputation who will fit in very well with our group.”

Note: Elliotte Friedman first reported that Bruce Boudreau would replace Travis Green as Canucks head coach. This post has been modified to reflect the Canucks confirming their big changes.

Green rarely delivered as Canucks coach

The Canucks’ regime changes come shortly after Vancouver fell to 8-15-2 on Saturday. During an ugly loss to the Penguins, a Canucks fan threw a jersey to the ice.

By most measures, Green disappointed as Canucks head coach. Through four full seasons, the Canucks made one playoff appearance. Clearly, Vancouver wasn’t trending toward a playoff spot, either, in his fifth and final season.

Overall, the Canucks went 133-147-34 (.478 points percentage) under Travis Green. Since 2017-18, that marks the fifth-worst points percentage in the NHL. (Sixth if you count the Seattle Kraken.)

No doubt, Jim Benning’s made many blunders as Canucks GM. But Green never really found a way to keep the Canucks’ heads above water at 5-on-5.

That said, people were impressed by the Canucks’ surprise run in 2019-20. Under the unusual playoff bubble rules, the Canucks advanced past the Wild in the qualifying round, won a series against the Blues, then pushed a powerful Golden Knights team to a Game 7.

Boudreau brings experience, versatility — but Canucks are asking a lot from any head coach

Speaking of Game 7’s, that’s an area where both the Canucks and Bruce Boudreau have certainly suffered. At this point, though? Vancouver just wants to get that far.

And few coaches have shown a better knack for getting the most out of their teams than Boudreau. (Waits for people to shout “In the regular season!”)

With almost 1,000 regular-season games coached, Boudreau’s taken the Capitals, Ducks, and Wild to multiple playoff berths. Few long-standing coaches can match Boudreau’s career .635 points percentage (567-302-115 in 984 games).

To many, Boudreau resonates as an offensive-minded coach. Largely, that may still be true. Even so, Boudreau showed an ability to adapt toward the end of his Ducks run, and especially with the defense-first Wild.

So, there’s a lot to like about the Canucks (reported) decision to hire Boudreau. That said, it’s possible that even a very good coach won’t be able to dig the Canucks out of a hole the size of many, many jerseys from many, many angsty fans.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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