Green hoping for contract extension to remain Canucks coach: report

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Travis Green said he has spoken with Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning about a contract extension to remain Canucks coach, and hopes to reach an agreement soon.

Green is 102-103-28 in three seasons with Vancouver. This is the final season on his contract.

“I’ve had some dialogue with Jim and kicked some things around,” Green told Sportsnet on Tuesday. “For me, the biggest thing is that we’re always on the same page, and we have been from Day One. 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 [this season] but for the long term. We’ll see how this plays out during the pandemic and revisit it.”

Last season the Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in five seasons and advanced to the Western Conference Second Round, where they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in seven games. It’s the deepest the Canucks had gone in the postseason since losing to the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

Since the season ended, the Canucks have acquired defenseman Nate Schmidt in a trade with the Golden Knights on Oct. 12 and signed goalie Braden Holtby to a two-year, $8.6 million contract ($4.3 million average annual value) on Oct. 9.

Schmidt and Holtby were teammates with the Washington Capitals for four seasons (2013-17).

“When you’re talking about Nate Schmidt or you’re talking about Braden Holtby, they bring leadership with them,” Green said. “Last year, when we brought in J.T. Miller (in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning), he maybe brought another level of leadership that he hadn’t shown before because he hadn’t been given that opportunity.”

Schmidt scored 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 59 games for the Golden Knights last season and scored nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 20 postseason games. He has scored 140 points (29 goals, 111 assists) with a plus-88 rating in 396 NHL games in seven seasons with the Capitals and the Golden Knights, and has scored 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) with a plus-12 rating in 68 playoff games. 

“We’ve seen first-hand (in the Pacific Division) the type of player he is,” Green said. “He has a lot of qualities. He can play in all situations. He brings a lot of energy to the group, which I like. When you get into scenarios when the season is hard and can seem long, you need guys with an engine that runs hot. There shouldn’t be a bad day in the NHL. We don’t want a team with energy-suckers in our group.”

Holtby, who won the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie in the NHL in 2016 and won the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018, is 282-122-46 with a 2.53 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and 35 shutouts in 468 games (458 starts) in 10 seasons with Washington, and 50-46-1 with a 2.13 GAA, a .926 save percentage and seven shutouts in 97 playoff games (96 starts).

“When you talk about Holtby, look at his resume and what he’s done in the League and the quality of goaltending he is capable of,” Green said. “You don’t have to say anything else. I’m excited to see him in person and have him on our team.”

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