Update: It’s official.
15 days following the dismissal of Willie Desjardins, here (probably!) comes the Green machine:
VAN close to finalizing contract with Travis Green to be new head coach. Assuming no last-minute hiccups, announcement in next day or two.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 25, 2017
As you know, Green has spent the last three seasons coaching the AHL’s Utica Comets (155-110-39) after three seasons behind the bench for the Portland Winterhawks. His time with the Comets included a Calder Cup appearance in 2014-15. He was drafted into the NHL in 1989 in the second round (23rd overall), the same draft that saw some clown named Mats Sundin go #1. Green would go to play for five NHL teams over 15 years - mostly for the NY Islanders - going 193-262-455 in the process.
Oh, one more fun fact from the 1989 NHL draft: Vancouver selected defenseman Jason Herter at #8, ahead of Bobby Holik, Olah Kolzig and Adam Foote just to name a few. In true franchise fashion, that didn’t pan out well.
Believe Travis Green is getting a 4-year deal from #canucks— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) April 25, 2017
If true, Green will become the 19th coach in franchise history. He was courted a few years ago to be added as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh and both Anaheim and Colorado took looks at him last summer for their head coach vacancies.
If you’re bemoaning Green coming on board at the expense a proven, experienced NHL coach, that was called the Tortorella experiment and Torts inherited a far better, playoff-ready team than Green certainly will.
What Green will inherit, though, is a team that is finally admitting to a rebuild and features players he’s worked with already in Utica (Horvat, Baertschi, Granlund and Virtanen) along with new fresh faces to mentor (Goldobin and Boeser) along with the guys waiting in the wings (Dahlen, Gaudette, Juolevi Subban, Pedan, this year’s pick who will be a god obviously, etc). That certainly appears to be his strong suit:
As the right coach at the right time for the transitioning Canucks, the 46-year-old Castlegar native has long been lauded for schooling prospects and having the innate ability to reach them on another level. It’s imperative in today’s fast-changing, youth-infused NHL game. - Das Province
Obviously the next coach is going to have his hands full to steer a rookie-heavy team out of the bottom third of the league, or at least not to let them drop one more slot to dead last. We have no idea if Green is up for that task, but unlike with Willie, at least his bosses aren’t pretending the Canucks are something they aren’t anymore.
That counts for something...right?