Canucks coach Travis Green has agreed to a two-year contract with the team through the 2022-23 season, ending speculation that he wouldn’t return after Vancouver finished last in its division this season.
“It got down to the wire. Ultimately, I wanted to be here. I’m just thankful that we did get it done,” Green said. “I wouldn’t have signed back here if I didn’t believe in what we’re doing and where we’re going. I want to win, and that’s why I signed back here. I didn’t sign back here just to get two more years of coaching in the NHL.”
Green, who was hired in April 2017, has a 125-132-32 record in 289 regular-season games. The 50-year-old ranks fifth in franchise history in games coached and wins.
He coached the Canucks without a contract beyond the 2020-21 season. His status was in question after the Canucks followed a strong run in the 2020 playoffs — advancing to the conference semifinals, where they took the Vegas Golden Knights to seven games — with a 23-28-4 season in which they finished last in the all-Canadian North Division.
But the season was a tumultuous one. The Canucks had injuries to players such as star Elias Pettersson, who was limited to 26 games. They had a major COVID-19 outbreak at the end of March, causing the postponement of eight games and keeping the team out of action for 24 days.
“Our core players are still young guys. The playoff experience they got last year was great. But we need to figure out a way to get in first,” general manager Jim Benning said. “Once you get into the playoffs, you have good goaltending, you play with the right structure, anything can happen in the playoffs, as we saw last year. Ultimately, we’re trying to win a Stanley Cup here with the players that we’re developing. But first thing is that we need to make the playoffs and go on from there.”
Benning confirmed that the Canucks have had discussions with franchise legends Henrik and Daniel Sedin for jobs in team management.
“Their idea was that they were going to take some time off [after retirement],” Benning said. “We continue to have conversations with them. That’ll be up to them, when or if they wanted to do that. And if they did, we all know what great additions to the organization they’d be, because of the type of people they are.”