The Vancouver Canucks announced Wednesday that Travis Green has been hired as their new head coach. He most recently filled the same position with the Utica Comets, the organization's minor league affiliate in the American Hockey League.
Canucks Media Relations confirmed the news on the team's official website.
Vancouver general manger Jim Benning released a statement about the decision:
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. 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. We're pleased to welcome Travis and his family and truly excited about the future.
The 46-year-old British Columbia native is a former NHL forward who played 14 years in the league across stints with the New York Islanders, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. He tallied 455 points (193 goals and 262 assists) in 970 games.
His head-coaching career began with the Portland Winterhawks, who he helped guide to a Western Hockey League championship in 2012-13 after taking the reigns from Mike Johnston.
Green took over the Comets the following season. He accumulated a 155-110-39 record across four years in the AHL. Utica made the playoffs twice during that span, including a trip to the Calder Cup Final at the end of the 2014-15 season, where it lost to the Manchester Monarchs.
His experience working with young players should benefit a Canucks organization in the midst of a rebuilding process. They missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons and recently finished the 2016-17 campaign with the second-fewest points in the NHL.
Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi are among the building blocks for the future. There's still a lot of work to do before Vancouver gets back in the championship mix, however, and the front office is betting on Green to help develop the next wave of talent to carry the franchise through the end of the Sedin era.
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