The Senators are on the cusp of hiring Travis Greene. Would he be a good fit in Ottawa?

When the Senators’ regular season ended three weeks ago, Travis Green’s name was certainly not on the list of potential head coaching candidates being floated by the media and fans in Ottawa.

At the time, the roster included the likes of Craig Berube, Todd McClellan, Dean Evason, and Jon Gruden. The assumption was that Green — who finished the season as New Jersey’s interim head coach — would get serious consideration to stay in New Jersey. After all, he was hired as an assistant coach under Lindy Ruff last summer, with many wondering if New Jersey’s eventual succession plan included inheriting the head coaching role.

But things have progressed so quickly over the past seven days that the Senators are about to officially introduce Green as their next head coach.

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Last week, Green’s name surfaced for the first time as a serious candidate for Ottawa’s vacant position Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff noted He was interviewed by the Senate administration. Around midday Monday, Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman said so “All eyes were on Travis Green.” When talking about the Senators head coach position.

After a few hours, TSN’s Darren Dreger was first to report The deal was about to be completed.

Since Ottawa entered the NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday, there’s an excellent chance the official announcement — and Green’s subsequent press conference — will be made on Wednesday or Thursday in Ottawa.

But until we hear from Green and Senators general manager Steve Stause, there will be a lot of questions from Ottawa fans. Green certainly wasn’t the most popular or successful coach on the market, so this news was met with a degree of skepticism by Ottawa fans.

What is Green’s record as a coach?

The 53-year-old Green spent parts of six seasons as a head hockey coach in Vancouver and New Jersey, where he compiled a 141-159-35 record in 335 games. That’s good for a .473 points percentage, which puts him right alongside the following coaches:

Comparative coaching in the salary cap era

trainer games Points are a percentage

Joe Sacco

294

.493

Jeremy Colliton

205

.488

Willie Desjardins

315

.487

Travis Green

335

.473

Wayne Gretzky

328

.473

DJ Smith

317

.464

The fact that DJ Smith’s name is on this list is sure to attract the attention of Ottawa fans, who are hoping their next coach can take this program to a different level.

Green has led Vancouver to two playoff wins in the COVID bubble in the summer of 2020. The Canucks dispatched the Minnesota Wild in the playoff round, before eliminating the St. Louis Blues in six games. Green’s Vancouver team then pulled away with a tough seven-game loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

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However, outside of that, Vancouver teams have not been able to play better than .500 in any season under Green’s direction.

Canucks under Travis Green

season Goals for/game Goals against/match Power play Fatal penalty kick

2017-18

2.66 (26)

3.16 (26)

21.5% (9th)

78.3% (21st)

2018-19

2.67 (25)

3.02 (17)

17.1% (22nd)

81.1% (11th)

2019-20

3.25 (eighth)

3.10 (21)

24.2% (4th)

80.5% (16th place)

2020-21

2.64 (24th)

3.34 (26)

17.4% (25)

79.8% (seventeenth)

2021-22

2.36 (27)

3.16 (23)

17.4% (22nd)

64.6% (32)

Total (314 games)

2.76 (24th)

3.14 (26)

20.0% (fourteenth)

78.6% (26)

If there’s any good news, it’s that Green Vancouver teams have been known for getting off to fast starts — a problem that has plagued the Senators in recent years. In each of his four full seasons with the Canucks, Green got off to good starts in the first month of the season:

He starts under Travis Green

season Begins

2017-18

6-3-1

2018-19

9-6-2

2019-20

9-3-2

2020-21

6-5-0

Green has often been praised for being open and flexible when it comes to using advanced statistics and analytics. This 2020 story from Harman Dayal V The athlete He chronicled Green’s decision to embrace analytics early in his coaching career.

“Man, it feels like I’ve been using analytics in one form or another forever,” Green said. The athlete.

And when The athlete Thomas Drance approached Green in 2023 about his coaching career in Vancouver, and he was hopeful and optimistic about improvement when his next opportunity in the NHL came up.

“You go through some adversity and you work to improve things, and I think I would be better in all areas of training now, just because of the natural progression, but also having time to evaluate and look back.” Green said. “It’s evaluating the things you’re good at and working on the things you’re not good at, because everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.”

“I’m a guy who loves challenges, I love training, that’s the competitive part of us. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting another opportunity.”

Green served as interim coach for the Devils for their final 21 games of the season, but New Jersey posted an 8-12-1 record in those games and missed the playoffs by 10 points in the Eastern Conference.

Before coaching in the NHL, Green spent time with the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL, where he helped guide the team to a league championship and a Memorial Cup berth in 2012-13. He then served as the Canucks’ AHL head coach for four seasons in Utica, taking them to the Finals in 2014-15.

How would Green’s tenure in Vancouver be described?

Green’s time as Canucks coach came to an abrupt end midway through the 2021-22 season, when he was fired along with general manager Jim Benning on December 6, 2021.

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It was a rare double ejection with the general manager and head coach relieved of their duties at the same time, with Green replaced by Bruce Boudreau. As Drence wrote that day: “Furthermore, Boudreau is known as a players’ coach. This makes him, in some ways, the opposite of Green, who is more in the Pete DeBoer mold and carries a reputation for being detail-obsessed in his approach.

That’s an interesting description of Green, considering that many Senators fans are clamoring for this type of coaching style in Ottawa. Smith, who led the Senators in each of the previous five seasons until he was fired in mid-December, had a reputation as a comfortable “players-first” coach.

Given that Drance has been associated with covering Green for five seasons, I thought it would be beneficial for him to be involved in the recruiting process. Drence appears to believe that Green’s tactical strengths, coupled with his appetite for analysis and ability to develop young players, will make him an excellent fit for the Senators. Drence believes Green may have been a victim of a chaotic environment in Vancouver and could benefit greatly from settling in Ottawa.

Here is Drence’s perspective on the Senators selecting Green as their next coach:

“I covered Travis Green closely during the most dysfunctional period in recent Vancouver Canucks history — and that’s saying something.

After a successful stint as the club’s AHL coach in Utica, a stretch that included a Calder Cup Final appearance in the early stages of Green’s tenure, the club froze rosters that were severely undermanned. These Green Era teams played disciplined hockey and often hit beyond their capacity, especially early in the year, before a severe shortage of talent caught up with them.

In the 2019-2020 season, the club faced a flurry and over-performance, both in the regular season and in the playoff bubble. Green’s tactics against the Golden Knights in forcing a seventh game as a huge underdog in the second round became a model widely copied by Golden Knights’ opponents in frustrating the DeBoer-era Golden Knights in the playoffs over the next few years.

Then things got weird in Vancouver.

Coronavirus-related budget cuts have decimated the roster. A widespread COVID-19 outbreak during the 2021 season hit Green hard, and the team hard as well, as the club fell to seventh in the All-Canadian League.

The following year, Green made some tactical adjustments to try and bolster the club’s tough defensive game. It worked well in a five-on-five match, but the team was undone by heavy penalty struggles and the prevailing struggles of some of the star players. Twenty-five games into the season, Green was fired and replaced by Bruce Boudreau.

Throughout his tenure with the Canucks, Green’s Canucks relied heavily on young players and did a good job. He was disciplined and innovative in how he approached match-ups within the game.

He tended not to be fooled by hot signings, and when he was criticized for handing out players, his decisions tended to prove themselves over time (players who didn’t get enough opportunity under Green tended not to become more significant contributors after his departure). ). His skeletal work,

This is a sharp coach who deserves a stable opportunity after the way things have turned out for him in Vancouver. Taking over a young team like the Senators seems to me a unique fit.

What about Green’s history as a player?

Ottawa fans old enough will have to reconcile Green’s time with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the heat of the Battle of Ontario.

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Green spent two seasons with the Maple Leafs in 2001-02 and 2002-03 and was a central figure in some notable moments in the regional rivalry. Along with Darcy Tucker, Ty Domi and Shane Corson, Green was one of the most hated Maple Leafs players in Ottawa, playing with an abrasive style that often annoyed Senators players and fans.

In March of 2003, Green was awarded a penalty kick in a game against the Senators at Coryell Center. As he skated towards the penalty area, Green angrily pointed at Senators forward Chris Neil on the Ottawa bench. Seconds later, Toronto forward Darcy Tucker jumped to the Ottawa bench to start a fight with Neal.

In Game 5 of the 2002 playoff series, Green was one of Toronto’s angriest players afterward Daniel Alfredsson’s controversial hit on Tucker In the dying moments of that contest. Alfredsson beat Tucker along the boards and then scored the eventual winning goal at the Air Canada Center in Toronto.

Afterwards, Green told reporters that Alfredsson’s hit on Tucker was “Bloody joke.

All told, Green suited up for 970 NHL games in a career that spanned 14 seasons. He scored 20 goals on three occasions, and his best offensive season came as part of a 25-goal, 70-point campaign in 1995–96 with the New York Islanders.

When he was hired by the Canucks as their head coach in the spring of 2017, Green told reporters that he had always dreamed of coaching After his football career ended.

“I’ve been fortunate to play a long time in the league. I wouldn’t call myself one of the top skill players in the league. I had to think my way around the ice. I knew that at the end of my career I wanted to stay in hockey,” Green said in April 2017. “I wanted to coach.” “I played under a lot of good coaches, some great coaches – a few people know here – Pat Quinn, Al Arbor. That definitely helped me.”

(Photo: Rich Graysle/NHLI via Getty Images)

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