It’s believed the new deal will keep Green behind the Vancouver Canucks’ bench until at least 2023.

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Travis Green’s return to the Vancouver Canucks’ bench is now official.

A day after news leaked that the head coach and the team that has employed him for four years were set to renew his contract, the NHL club has confirmed it all.

Green has been signed to a multi-year deal, the team announced, which is believed to be for the next two seasons.

His contract was set to expire next month and there had been much speculation about whether he would be back.

The head coach has faced a lot of challenges this season:

• The player budget was slashed by ownership and several key members of the 2019-20 team were allowed to leave with little pushback from management;

• His team’s early-season schedule was trying and the team struggled defensively;

• The team faced an outbreak of COVID-19 that forced a new schedule upon them that was as demanding as any schedule ever faced by a healthy team, let alone one recovering from a serious respiratory illness;

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• And he had to guide his group of players through the mental challenges of adhering to the league’s COVID-19 protocols, which meant they weren’t allowed to spend social time together away from the rink.

Why signing Green to a new deal, given the loyalty shown to him by his players and the clear interest from GM Jim Benning in re-signing him, took so long can only be laid at the feet of ownership, who have been under fire of late for their guidance of the team in the last half-decade.

The situation left Green to manage the latter part of the schedule in limbo, putting him in an awkward position. By all accounts he managed the situation with aplomb, despite the dark cloud hanging over his own future.

“I didn’t sign back here just to get two more years of coaching in the NHL,” Green said Friday morning during an end-of-season Zoom session with the media.

“When I came here four years ago, I talked about wanting to build something here, and I’m committed to that. That was a big part of me staying,” he added.

“I know Jim, I know our ownership are committed to winning. And, hey, we own this season. It didn’t go the way we wanted it to. I can understand how people would be frustrated with the year. Our group needs to evaluate the need to make changes. There’s only one reason I signed back here, because I believe that we can win with this group, and not just the players or coaches but the ownership and management.

Benning was happy to get the deal done.

“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,” he said in a statement.

Green, 50, has been the Canucks’ head coach since 2017, succeeding Willie Desjardins. The team’s 19th head coach in its history, the Canucks have posted a 125-132-32 record with him behind the bench. He’s fifth all-time in games coached (289) as well as fifth all-time in wins.

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Born and raised in Castlegar, he played junior hockey for the Spokane Chiefs before being drafted by the New York Islanders in 1989. He played 14 seasons and 970 games in the NHL for the Islanders, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. He also skated in 56 playoff games.

After retiring in 2009, he moved into coaching, working first as an assistant for the Portland Winter Hawks. He took over the Portland bench in 2012-13 and was hired by the Canucks to be the first coach in Utica Comets history in 2013.

He was the Canucks’ AHL coach for four years before being promoted to the NHL job.


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