Canucks name Travis Green new coach after four seasons in AHL

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) The Vancouver Canucks have named Travis Green their new coach.

The team announced Green's hiring in a statement. He is scheduled to be introduced at a news conference later Wednesday at Rogers Arena.

Green spent the last four seasons coaching the Canucks' top farm team, the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League.

Before that, he coached the Portland Winterhawks to a 2012-13 Western Hockey League title and an appearance in the 2013 Memorial Cup final.

He replaces Willie Desjardins, who spent the last three seasons in Vancouver.

Desjardins was fired this month less than 24 hours after the Canucks finished the season 29th in the overall standings, missing the postseason for the second straight year.

Similar to Desjardins when he took the job in June 2014, Green has no experience as an NHL head coach. He also has never been an NHL assistant and is Canucks' fourth head coach since May 2013.

President of hockey operations Trevor Linden and general manager Jim Benning hinted at a news conference following Desjardins' firing that top-level experience wasn't a prerequisite for their next hire - comments that seemed to suggest the job was Green's to lose after he was rumored to be in the running for a couple of NHL jobs last off-season.

''We want to find the coach that's the best fit for where we're at right now as an organization with our young players,'' Benning told reporters on April 10.

Green, 46, led the Comets to the Calder Cup final in 2015, but they lost in the first round last season before missing the playoffs altogether this spring with a depleted roster; a number of players expected to be in the AHL instead wound up in Vancouver.

The 19th head coach in the Canucks' history, Green scored 193 goals and added 262 assists in 970 games over 14 NHL seasons as a center with the New York Islanders, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins.

Selected 23rd overall by the Islanders at the 1989 draft, Green comes to Vancouver with expectations that couldn't be lower for a team that has missed the postseason three of the last four years.

Desjardins made the playoffs in 2014-15 with 101 points but was fired after following a 75-point effort in 2015-16 with a dismal 69 points this season. The Canucks pivoted into a full rebuild over the final six weeks.

The Canucks are led by twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin, who turn 37 in September. They have a promising core of younger players led by Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund up front, along with Ben Hutton and Troy Stecher on defense.

Brock Boeser impressed late in the year after joining Vancouver following his college season, while Jake Virtanen, another former first-round pick, spent most of 2016-17 with Green in the AHL working on his game.

The Canucks acquired forwards Jonathan Dahlen and Nikolay Goldobin for veterans Alexandre Burrows and Jannik Hansen before the trade deadline.

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