Canucks, head coach Travis Green agree to two-year extension

Dan Murphy and Iain MacIntyre discuss the Vancouver Canucks re-signing head coach Travis Green, the future of goalie coach Ian Clark, and what the team can do with the salary cap this summer.

The Vancouver Canucks and head coach Travis Green have reached an agreement on a contract extension, the team announced on Friday.

Speaking with reporters following the announcement, Green revealed that he extended his contract for two more years.

"We are excited to have Travis Green continue to lead the Canucks as head coach and move forward from a challenging year to focus on future seasons," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a team release. "Our plan has always been to draft and develop a young core and surround them with supporting players who can help us win. We have some of the best young players in the NHL and I believe Travis is the right coach to help us achieve team success and a return to the playoffs."

Green assumed head coaching responsibilities for the Canucks in 2017, when the team was coming off a season it finished 29th in the league and earned only 69 points. Three seasons later, Vancouver was a part of the playoff bubble, where the team had its first taste of post-season success since 2011.

"Coaching the Vancouver Canucks has been a privilege and I am excited at the opportunity to continue behind the bench with this team," Green said. "I believe this young team and organization is on the rise. They have shown character, a strong will to win and we expect big things in the years ahead. Thank you to Jim, Francesco and the Aquilini family for the opportunity to continue as the coach of the Vancouver Canucks."

The Canucks struggled this past season though, derailed by an unforgiving schedule and one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks seen by a pro North American sports team, eventually finishing with a 23-29-4 record, the worst in the NHL's North Division.

Green and his entire staff of assistants were set to become coaching free agents this off-season.

In a letter to Canucks season ticket holders shared on Twitter after the agreement with Green was announced, team owner Francesco Aquilini wrote he was "delighted" the head coach agreed to an extension and he remains "very confident" about the franchise's future.

"In short, the future is bright," part of the letter reads. "I know I've been saying that for a while now, but progress doesn't always follow a straight line. Believe me, I'm as impatient as you are to see the Canucks return to top-tier status. Yes, it's been a long time. But the darkest hour is just before the dawn."

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