While the Vancouver Canucks have a couple key contract negotiations on the horizon to navigate — with young stars Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Thatcher Demko entering the last years of their current deals — GM Jim Benning has another to sort out off the ice as well.
Head coach Travis Green, who’s manned the team’s bench for the past three years, heads into 2020-21 in the final year of his own contract as well. Though no extension has been agreed upon yet, Benning told Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre Sunday that the club intends to keep Green in the fold.
“Travis has done an excellent job coaching this group of players. I think, from a development standpoint, our young players have continued to get better under him every year. We think he’s the right fit for this group and our group moving forward,” Benning told MacIntyre during a press conference Sunday as the Canucks opened training camp.
“We want to kind of take a look at the financial landscape of the whole business here as we keep moving forward, but our intention is to sign Travis to an extension so he’s part of our group here moving forward.”
Green took over the Canucks bench in 2017 and has led them to a 102-103-28 record through three seasons. However, with the organization bringing along a number of young stars, they’ve continued to progress in each of those campaigns, finishing seventh, fifth and third in the Pacific Division over that span.
That progress culminated in a trip to the second round of this past post-season in the bubble, before Vancouver eventually fell to the Vegas Golden Knights.
“It’s an exciting time to be a Canuck right now, whether you’re a fan, player, someone that works in the organization. It really is,” Green said. “And I’m part of that — I’m excited as well, and I haven’t hidden that I want to be here long-term. I think we’ve just started to scratch the surface of what we are as a team and where we’re going. And with our conversations with Jim, I’m fine with where we’re at right now, and hopefully we can work things out and I can be here for a while.
“But as of starting today, I’m just worried about today, I’m worried about our team and getting them prepared for Game 1. But it is no secret that I love coaching here, and I want to win here.”