The connection between Portland and Vancouver thickens as the team announced Winterhawks assistant coach/head coach/it's complicated Travis Green will man the bench for our dear Comets of Utica.
Green took over as head coach of the 'Hawks in November from Mike Johnston after he was suspended from the team after allegedly committing a number recruiting infractions. From any objective stand point his time as Portland's bench boss was a success. Under his guidance the team won 37 of 48 regular season games, rolled through the WHL playoffs (capturing their first title since 1998) and came within one game of setting off yet another xenophobic Don Cherry diatribe by taking his precious Memorial Cup south of the border... But then some wiener kids from Halifax ruined it.
Anyway, as an avid follower, fan, obsessive and season ticket holder for the Winterhawks, Green's departure is the least shocking thing to happen to the team this year. When they made it to the WHL Western Conference Finals, I had the distinct impression he would be gone in the offseason. He proved that if he wasn't Johnston's coaching equal, he certainly wasn't far off and could easily handle all the responsibilities involved.
As for what his hiring means for the Canucks on the farm, I think it is all positive. By every account Green was well liked by his fellow coaches and players. And if his tenure under Johnston is any indication he will deploy an uptempo offensive system that is sure to make the forwards love him and his goalies wishing for the trap after the half dozen odd man rushes they face on a bad night.
One concern could be his actual lack head coaching experience. For how successful he's been the fact remains he only has six months of head coaching experience. But part of the reason the AHL exists is to help train the next generation of coaches as well as players.
**Zanstorm note: From the Province today:
"The biggest thing is that he kept us calm and collected as a team and brought us closer together - even though the sanctions happened," said Winterhawks centre Nicolas Petan, who had 46 goals and 120 points last season to share the WHL scoring title.
"He kept us into an attack (mode), and we didn't fall off at all and kept with the same systems. I thought he handled it very well.
"He'll be great. That (Utica) is a perfect fit for him, and it's one step up and I think he'll be up for the challenge. He taught me about patience and waiting for the right time, letting things happen and playing a full 60-minute game. I kind of figured an offer would come around for him, so this is very exciting."
Green was the 23rd overall pick by the New York Islanders in the 1989 draft and was coached by current Canucks assistant general manager Lorne Henning.
Hell, I have many reasons to like Travis Green. He was an excellent bottom 6 player for the Leafs:
Thank you brianadams for this fan post.