Canucks: Travis Green has talked to Jim Benning about an extension

Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green says he has talked to general manager Jim Benning about an extension.

Despite surpassing 2019-20 season expectations, the Vancouver Canucks have yet to hand head coach Travis Green a contract extension.

Green, who completed his third season behind the Vancouver bench, is entering the final year of his contract. Having led the Canucks to the second round of the playoffs — where they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in seven games — Green has zero reason to worry about his contract status.

Still, it’s a bit of a surprise that the Canucks haven’t reached a new deal with their beloved coach. Yes, there are plenty of financial issues and uncertainties to sort through amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but why prolong the inevitable?

Green was asked about his contract status in an interview with Sportsnet. Obviously, the fourth-year head coach wasn’t going to offer many details, but he revealed that there have been talks with general manager Jim Benning:

“I’ve had some dialogue with Jim and kicked some things around. For me, the biggest thing is that we’re always on the same page, and we have been from Day 1. The fact Jim wants to extend me fits with what I want to do. When I first came to Vancouver, we talked about building this team up and taking the proper steps to do it. Obviously, you have to be aligned with your general manager and your ownership, and we have been the whole way. I still want to coach this team and win in Vancouver, not just now and not just next year but for the long term. We’ll see how this plays out during the pandemic and revisit it.”

When he was asked about possibly exploring other options, Green emphasized that he only wants “to coach in Vancouver” and that he “can’t imagine winning a Stanley Cup in any city but Vancouver.”

By all accounts, the relationship between Green, Benning and the owners is just fine. That, along with the strong on-ice results in 2019-20, give Vancouver fans every reason to believe that the extension will come.

Green was hired to replace Willie Desjardins — following two straight non-playoff seasons — after the 2016-17 campaign. The Canucks have gone 102-103-28 under Green’s guidance, with point totals of 73, 81 and 78 (in 69 games last season).

For a team that’s looking to enter Stanley Cup contention in 2021 and beyond, finding a new head coach makes zero sense. Green has earned the trust and respect of his players, GM and owners. What more can you ask for?

So when all is said and done, look for Green and the Canucks to eventually reach an agreement on a multi-year extension. It’s truly a matter of when, not if.