Travis Green is the perfect coach for the Canucks


Coaching in the NHL has changed drastically over the years. Travis Green’s strength in communication fits perfectly with the Vancouver Canucks.

As the league continues to get younger, the importance of communication magnifies. Nowadays, a good coach needs to be a good communicator in order to get the most out of their stars. Travis Green has always been known for his strong communication skills and with a team full of young stars like the Vancouver Canucks, this is especially important.

After being hired by the Canucks in 2017, Green did an interview with Sporting News Canada and explained his coaching philosophy.

“I think the players always know where they stand, they always know what’s expected,” Green said. “I do believe in communicating. I don’t like for there to be a lot of gray areas.”

The NHL is notorious for constantly recycling the same coaches, but this mentality is starting to change. Looking around the league, you will see hockey teams are now choosing to hire strong communicators over coaches with years of NHL experience. Mike Sullivan (Pittsburgh Penguins), Todd Reirden (Washington Capitals) and Craig Berube (St. Louis Blues) are all known for their clear, well-defined plans, and they’ve all experienced plenty of recent success.

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Three years ago, the Penguins fired Mike Johnston and brought in Sullivan as a replacemet, which lead to back-to-back Stanley Cups. Sullivan is known for getting the most out of his players as well as placing a lot of trust in his players to build the confidence.

Trusting players will always go a long way in instilling confidence in your team. When the 2019-20 season began, Green was not hesitant to put rookie defenceman Quinn Hughes in tough situations. In his first NHL game, he was tasked with shutting down Connor McDavid.

The modern-day NHL is a completely different landscape from the past. Players that come into the league are full of raw talent.

They’ve worked with specialty coaches all their lives, they’re at the peak of physical health. The job of the modern-day coach is to be able to manage all the personalities in the room and knowing how to get the best out of every single player.

Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet talked about the importance of the mental side when it comes to coaching in a July 2017 interview with ESPN:

"The one thing I think I’ve learned, and the one thing that has helped me over the years, is my communication. That’s one of my strengths, communicating with a young player. I can X-and-O’s with anybody. I can tell you what Washington does. I can tell you what the Rangers do, and that’s great. But I’m more worried about our team. The mental aspect with a player is more than half the battle nowadays. That’s why I think communication is so big for a coach in general."

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The Canucks have a young and extremely talented core full of intelligent players. Green’s job is to motivate the players and to get them to be at the top of their game every single night. The communication skills of Vancouver’s bench boss will be key in making that happen.