Canucks to name Travis Green new head coach Wednesday: reports


​The 19th head coach in Vancouver Canucks' history will be announced Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET, with Travis Green widely reported as the successor to Willie Desjardins.

Green, 46, has spent the past four seasons guiding the NHL team's minor league affiliate in Utica, N.Y. The Comets narrowly missed the playoffs this season after losing in the American Hockey League semifinals a year ago and in the Calder Cup Finals in 2015.

Green's expected hiring is said to be of no surprise, given the Castelgar, B.C., native's ability to work with NHL prospects and reach them on another level, including forwards Jake Virtanen, Hunter Shinkaruk and Nicklas Jensen.

Two seasons ago, the Canucks were riddled with injury, forcing Green to regularly juggle his lineup. He used 49 players in leading Utica back to the post-season after missing the playoffs in his rookie season.

It's believed Vancouver recently denied Florida permission to speak to Green about their coaching vacancy. Three years ago, he reportedly turned down an assistant coaching position with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and last summer was a finalist for the Ducks head-coaching job given to Randy Carlyle.

After retiring from the NHL at 37, Green spent four seasons with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. He took them to the Memorial Cup final in 2013, bowing to the Halifax Mooseheads after taking over as interim head coach for the suspended Mike Johnston.

Green was originally hired by Portland as assistant coach and assistant general manager for the 2009-10 season.

His arrival in Vancouver would seem to make sense with the team entering a rebuilding phase after missing the post-season for a second consecutive year.

Nikolay Goldobin, 21, showed well with the Comets, posting a pair of two-goal games once the Canucks failed to make the playoffs. Right-winger Brock Boeser, a first-round pick by Vancouver in 2015, scored four times in nine games after leaving the University of North Dakota.

Sedins have year left on contracts

Centre Jonathan Dahlen, whom Canucks GM Jim Benning received in return for sending veteran winger Alex Burrows to Ottawa at the March 1 trade deadline, had 25 goals in 45 second-division games in Sweden.

There's also Adam Gaudette, whom Vancouver drafted in the fifth round in 2015. The 20-year-old centre racked up 26 goals and 52 points in 37 games this season at Northeastern University in Boston.

The Canucks' 36-year-old twins, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, have one year remaining on their contracts at $7 million US apiece next season.

Third-year centre Bo Horvat, 21, was the only Vancouver player this season to reach 20 goals and top 50 points (52). Henrik and Daniel Sedin were the only other players to surpass the 35-point mark with 50 and 44, respectively.

Vancouver's special teams had mixed results under the 60-year-old Desjardins, with a power play that ranked 11th in 2014-15 (18.9 per cent), dropped to 27th last year (15.8) and was 29th this season with a 14.1 per cent success rate.

On Jan. 25, the Canucks were 23-20-6 and occupied the second wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference before things crumbled in spectacular fashion. Vancouver finished 29th in the 30-team NHL with a 30-43-9 record for 69 points, the fewest by a Canucks outfit over an 82-game campaign since 1999 when they had 58 points (23-47-12).

With the NHL draft set for June 23-24, the Canucks will find out where they select on Saturday (CBC,, 8 p.m. ET).

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