Canucks: Could the assistant coaching staff look different next year?

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EDMONTON, ALBERTA – AUGUST 17: Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Newell Brown handles the bench during the game. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

There has been a lot of questions surrounding the Vancouver Canucks and their coaching staff this offseason.

For the most part, the focus has heavily been on head coach Travis Green and goaltending coach Ian Clark, both of whom were in the final years of their current deals this past season. At first, all signs were pointing towards general manager Jim Benning running out of time once again, with many expecting both Green and Clark to test out the free agency waters.

Fortunately, he seems to be turning things around as of late.

The Canucks were finally able to lock down Green, inking him to a two-year contract extension a few weeks back.

And although his recent track record has proven otherwise, Benning appears confident that he’ll also be able to keep Clark in Vancouver.

It would be fantastic news if management could lock down Clark on a long-term extension. The veteran goaltending coach, who suited up for his 1500th NHL game this past May, has had a tremendous impact on all of the netminders that he’s worked with during his career, and would undoubtedly be a key piece in this team’s transition moving forward.

But what about the other coaching personnel?

At the time of this article being published, assistant coaches Nolan Baumgartner and Newell Brown are both without new deals, and should be near the top of Benning’s offseason to-do list.

Baumgartner has been with the Canucks coaching organization since 2012, serving as an assistant coach with their AHL affiliates for five years before being promoted to the NHL in June 2017. He also spent time with organization as a NHL defenceman, playing for both the Manitoba Moose and Vancouver Canucks between 2002 and 2006.

Brown has much more coaching experience in the NHL, having worked with the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Arizona Coyotes over the past 25 years. Like Baumgartner, he was added to the assistant coaching staff prior to the 2017-18 season, marking his coaching return to Vancouver.

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