By Canada Hky (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Vancouver Canucks Name Travis Green Head Coach of Utica Comets

The Vancouver Canucks have named former NHL player Travis Green as the first-ever head coach of the Utica Comets. He signed a three-year contract.

“We are very pleased to have Travis Green join our organization,” Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said in a release. “Travis brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and a winning pedigree to the role. His experience as a player and immediate success as a Head Coach, guiding Portland to a WHL Championship this past year, are tremendous assets to lead and develop our players and prospects in Utica.”

Green comes to Vancouver with just under a season of head coaching experience with the Portland Winterhawks and three as an assistant coach. He took over as head coach on an interim basis from Mike Johnston last season after the Winterhawks were found guilty of “multiple player benefit violations” and Johnston was suspended for the rest of the season.

He did pretty well as the head coach molding the high-scoring Winterhawks team to one that is equally good at both ends of the rink. From Buzzing the Net blog:

As for Green’s record, well, the Winterhawks finished at 57-12-3 and were 20-4-1 prior to the sanctions. That’s a mildly impressive 37-8-2 record as the bench boss for Green, plus a 16-5 playoff record enroute to a 3-2 record at the MasterCard Memorial Cup in Saskatoon.

The Winterhawks are known for their offence—and they generated NHL draftees in Seth Jones, Nic Petan, Oliver Bjorkstrand—Green’s influence certainly helped the team become much more well-rounded and ready to compete with Edmonton in the WHL finals. In 2011-2012, the Winterhawks had a goal differential of +99, 1st in the WHL in goal scoring but just 10th in goals against. This past season, their goal differential was a +165 and they were 1st in the WHL in goal scoring again but 2nd behind only Edmonton in goals allowed.

Photo Credit: Canada Hky/Flickr

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