Murphy’s Mailbag: Will Travis Green sign an extension before the season?

Former Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

All right, folks! It’s time for a fall mailbag. Start with the question about Travis Green’s contract. Stay for the update from Cheech!

Ultimately, I do believe Travis Green will get his extension before the start of the 2020–21 season (whenever the hell that is). Some believe term is holding up this deal, while others believe it’s money. Let’s be honest here – it’s a number of factors, but those two (as in most contract negotiations) are at the forefront.

Green has one year left on his four-year deal that pays him $1 million per, and I don’t think anyone would argue he doesn’t deserve a raise. Green’s Canucks are coming off an impressive run in the Edmonton bubble after what was a pretty solid regular season even though playoffs were far from a guarantee at the pause. He’s also proven he can help develop young players (his time in Utica included) and incorporate them into his line-up.

One other thing, which shouldn’t be overlooked, is his ability to handle the scrutiny of a Canadian market. Vancouver can be brutal at times, and Green has proven to be able to navigate all that comes with coaching in this market — especially the media.

So what should his deal look like? I don’t believe Green is interested in anything less than a three-year extension. And as for the dollars: Well, the average salary of an NHL coach is not known because some have not been disclosed. However, it’s believed to be somewhere between $2.7 and $3 million. That would be a perfectly fine/fair range for his second deal with the team.

Yes, money out is a HUGE concern for ownership right now given the current climate due to COVID, but let’s not forget that Green’s next deal won’t kick in until the start of the 2021–22 season. And it goes without saying that there are obviously no cap concerns when shelling out money to your coach.

Now what if something isn’t done before the season? You can bet Green wouldn’t be pleased being a “lame duck” head coach. And if he did reach free agency, there is no doubt there will be suitors.

Finally, given the fact that there are expectations surrounding this team now AND the Canucks have taken a step back (how big of a step is up for debate) AND will need to rely on even more young players, then it’s not hard to conclude this could be Green’s toughest task behind the bench. He’s earned a raise and when (if) he gets it, he must prove he’s worth it.

I wish I had an answer for you.

I reached out to Troy Stecher and his response was “no clue.”

I reached out to Brock Boeser and his response was “no idea.”

Brandon Sutter offered a couple of possibilities: Jake Virtanen or Tyler Myers. Sutter says no one gets “volunteered” for the job. He did add that since Virtanen and Myers both do some of the half-moon passing in warm-up, then one of them would naturally be next up.

“One hundred per cent one of those two. I’m going to go with Jake,” was Sutter’s final verdict.

“Shotgun Jake” is such a wonderful tradition now. It’s a shame I can’t remember who came up with it. But let’s say he’s hurt, and fans need a player to cheer on in order to get alcohol in their system as quickly and efficiently as possible. Two options off the top of my head:


• MOTTE’S CLAMATO (although chugging a caesar would be terrible)

I’m not sure at this point, but I know far more creative people will come up with something if need be.

Well, Nick shot 63, so….

We mostly played from the tips, and Petey (4-cap) edged out Stecher and myself by a couple shots anyway.

The only guy I feel confident saying will be on the team once the season starts is Olli Juolevi. Management believes he’s ready for the next step, and he’s pretty much a lock to make it from my understanding.

One of Jack Rathbone, Brogan Rafferty or Jalen Chatfield is likely to make the team as well. And there is a good chance that one of (or both) Podkolzin or Hoglander will see some games once their respective seasons are done overseas.

They’ve all had their moments. Early in his tenure, Alain Vigneault was excellent (and off the record he was the best!), but AV got a little more tight lipped as the years went on. Although, if he wanted to get something out there he would absolutely deliver. Remember his response after Dave Bolland made fun of the Sedins in an interview?

I always enjoyed dealing with John Tortorella in a one-on-one situation. Scrums could get a little more testy. Travis Green has been excellent with good, thoughtful answers to questions he deems worthy. Marc Crawford was often very intense, which made things interesting. And Mike Keenan could stare a hole right through you.

By all indications, Micheal Ferland is skating and preparing to come to Canucks training camp. That said, considering the way last season went — ultimately ending with Ferland leaving the bubble in Edmonton because of a concussion — you have to believe the Canucks are preparing for a season without him. Perhaps they’re even banking on Ferland going on LTIR, which would clear up some valuable cap space.

Whatever happens, everyone is wishing the best for Ferland because he is a young man with a family and lots of life left to enjoy.

Well, she is a golden retriever, so.

Why were the TSN guys stuffing the mailbox this week? STOP THE COUNT! And Jason, the answer to your question is yes.

Artwork courtesy of @georgiatwiss

Going to go with WASP here, if only because of my love for this video:

Let’s eliminate my course growing up (Ledgeview) and my current course (Marine Drive). I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t played a lot of the great courses in our province. So I’m interested to hear some of my readers’ suggestions. With that said, here are some that I’ve really enjoyed.

• Capilano (tough to beat on a sunny day)
• Ridge Course at Predator (just an absolute blast)
• Shaughnessy (a brutal but fair test)
• Whistler (love the layout)
• Big Sky (unreal backdrop)
• Victoria (ocean holes are amazing)

My game has been in steady decline the last few years regardless of when my playoff assignments have ended, Mr. Sekeres. I would say my game suffers mainly due to a lack of commitment to practice.

This will sum it up: The legendary Doug Roxburgh’s locker is close to mine at Marine Drive. In the summer of 2019, I saw Doug getting set to go out to the course, so I asked him if he was playing that day. He said, “No, just going out to the practice bunker to hit some balls.”

And I thought to myself, I’ve been a member at this course for more than a decade and I don’t believe I’ve EVER gone to the practice bunker. Just one of the million reasons that Doug has won the BC Amateur 13 times while I’ve missed the cut in it twice.

However, Matt, there is only one team that has won the prestigious season-ending Member-Member tournament twice at Marine. The second title came in a playoff in 2020!


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