Why doesn’t Canucks coach Travis Green get a new contract?
Jim Benning says he wants Green to come back and Green says he wants to come back – what’s the delay?
Travis Green’s contract expires at the end of this season.
It’s a tough place for any NHL head coach, especially a coach of a team missing the playoffs for the third time in four years. Green has been the Vancouver Canucks bench chief since 2017 and helped the Canucks advance to the playoffs last year, but hasn’t been able to repeat the feet with an exhausted team this year.
Whenever GM Jim Benning has been asked about Green and his contractual situation, the answer has been the same: he and the team management love Green and want to make a deal. So why hasn’t it been re-signed yet?
According to reports, Green was offered a new contract earlier in the season, but he clearly wasn’t close enough for the deal to go through. There has been no movement or new offers since.
Just as Benning remained consistent when asked about contract negotiations, so did Green.
“I said from day one that I will not comment on my contractual situation. I’m not going to start doing this now, ”Green said. “Jim and I have always had a great relationship … From the first day I got here I wanted to coach this team through the rebuild and get to a place where I thought we were getting some good young parts and that we had a bright future. and I still have the same feeling.
“Jim said the same thing, that he wanted me to coach the team and we’ll see where it goes.”
“This is from above Jim Benning.”
If Green wants to come back and Benning wants to come back, what’s the problem? There is a feeling around the Canucks that it may not be entirely in Benning’s hands.
“My guess is that it’s coming from above Jim Benning, that it’s a property decision to wait and see and make that decision at the end of the year,” said Ray Ferraro. during an appearance on the Donny and Dhali show. “I think this is a mistake, in my opinion.”
The Canucks have been careful with their finances over the past year, cutting costs off the ice with layoffs and on the ice with deferred contracts costing them less this season. To some extent, that’s understandable given the lack of revenue this season with no audiences allowed in Canadian arenas.
Benning even hinted that money could be a problem before the start of the season.
“We kind of want to take a look at the financial landscape of the entire company here as we continue to move forward, but our intention is to sign Travis for an extension so that he is part of our group here to go. ahead, ”Benning said at the start. from training camp.
While it can be difficult to see a team pinch money on their coaching staff – there is no salary cap for coaching costs – there is some logic to this.
Consider the following hypothetical scenario: What if the Canucks extend Green and owner Francesco Aquilini chooses to fire Benning and hire a new GM during the offseason? One of the first things most new GMs do is look to hire a new head coach to make their own mark on the team.
The contracts for the NHL coaches are guaranteed, which means that if they sign for three years, they will be paid for the three years, even if they are immediately fired. That would mean Aquilini and the Canucks would be in the hot seat for the duration of Green’s new contract, on top of paying for a new head coach. If Aquilini is trying to be thrifty, this would be a tough pill for the multibillionaire to swallow.
“Where do you find a better coach?”
According to Ferraro, this is not an area to pinch pennies. The former NHL player and longtime analyst praised Green for Green’s work with the Canucks.
“Where do you find a better coach? Look at this list over the past couple of years and can you tell that this team hasn’t improved? Or that the young players of this team haven’t always competed? I think they go over their coverage all the time, ”Ferraro said. “I think he’s a very, very good NHL coach and if he’s not employed here he won’t be out of work for long.
Green’s drive to empower young players to succeed deserves praise.
Not every NHL coach would have put Elias Pettersson at the center of his rookie season, especially after playing on the wing in Sweden the year before. Not every NHL coach would have matched Quinn Hughes against Connor McDavid in Game 1 of his rookie season, challenging him to be the number one defenseman the team needed.
This season he put Nils Höglander in the squad’s top six from day one of training camp and kept him there all season despite some growing difficulties along the way.
Green is also very popular with his players. Completely spontaneous Travis Hamonic praised Green in a recent post-game interview.
“When I look at myself personally and how much I enjoyed playing the game this year surrounded by this group of guys and especially under Greener,” said Hamonic. “He’s a very good trainer in my opinion and he gave me a role and I was able to run with it.”
“I am a much better coach today.”
This particular season has been particularly difficult given the team’s difficult schedule to start the season and the even more difficult schedule following the COVID-19 outbreak. Green chooses to see the positive side of these challenges.
“I think every year you coach you have the opportunity to improve,” said Green. “Over the years in Vancouver I got better every year and became a better coach every season and this year it’s no different. When you go through challenges and adversity, sometimes you thrive even more in these situations than when you are successful. When I look back on that season and when it finally ends, I know I can look back and say I’m a much better coach today than I was this season.
According to hockey statistician Micah Blake McCurdy, there are some numbers that may support Green’s claim that he has improved every year. His the isolated impact model takes into account the impact of a coach, which means we can also see what the impact of a coach is.
Through this model, Green improved his impact on both offense and defense during his four-year tenure. This season, his influence has made the team’s shots 1.3% more dangerous than the average NHL coach, while shots against have been 2.0% less dangerous than average.
These gains may seem marginal, but they are important in this context and are among the best impacts among coaches in the league.
That’s not to say Green is a perfect coach. As he readily admits, you always need to improve as an NHL coach. You cannot afford to be stagnant.
Maybe Green is too reliant on veterans in defensive roles and has been hesitant to use skilled players in the team’s bottom six. Green is the one who would have wanted Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel, although he didn’t sign them to their bad contracts, and exiled Sven Baertschi in the AHL because he does not kill the penalties.
Overall, however, Green did his best with the players given to him. He deserves a chance to see this through.