From Utica, to Vancouver, Here’s Coach Green

The writing has been on the wall for quite some time signalling that the Willie Desjardins era with the Vancouver Canucks is over. And so began the search for the team’s next head coach. Rumours have swirled the last few weeks that they would hire Travis Green, the coach of their affiliate team, the Utica Comets. And while there are a few coaching vacancies league wide and lots of big names out there, Green seemed to be at the top of the Canucks list from the beginning of the search.

And after a few weeks of speculating, it has now been officially announced that yes, Travis Green is indeed now the coach of the Vancouver Canucks. That is the story but all that I have heard since the news broke is how he cannot possibly be a good fit or that his tenure is bound to be an absolute disaster before it has even started. 

Yes, maybe it was the obvious choice. Yes, maybe he does not have experience coaching at the NHL level. Yes, maybe he was not the anticipated choice from some fans. However you feel about the hiring, one thing is certain, Travis Green deserves a chance to actually do the job before he is critiqued. Maybe he will make some bad decisions along the way but it’s not fair to attack when he’s yet to actually coach this team for even one game yet.

He deserves credit for the impeccable job he’s done with Utica over the last 4 years and he deserves credit for his experience as a former hockey player.  He deserves credit for helping to develop and mentor a bulk of the Canucks prospects over the last 4 years. He deserves respect as someone who has paid his dues to get here. He does not deserve to be compared to past coaches successes or mistakes, the decisions he makes will be his own. His mistakes and successes will be his own.

Today, he was introduced to the local media and had a lot to say about his vision for the team moving forward and how he welcomes the challenge of coaching at the NHL level.

“There’s pressure…there’s pressure wherever you coach. I like challenges and I’m excited about this. I’m ready.” – Travis Green

“There’s only 31 of these jobs in the league. I’m ready for the task at hand. There’s a lot of great people in this organization.” – Green

“Fans, we share the same goal: to have a winning team that’s exciting to watch. It’s not an overnight process, but it begins now.” – Travis Green

You hear that, Vancouver fans? He’s ready for the challenge and he knows that the process is not an overnight magic fix, the process takes time. Let’s give him a chance to be the catalyst as the process moves forward.

As much as there is youth needed, the veterans will also be called upon to help lead the way.

“I’m hopeful this group of veterans is eager to get back at it and bounce back next year. They’re going to push our culture.” – Travis Green

He knows that players will come back motivated after a tough season and he’s not afraid to push them when needed or encourage when needed. There will be no guessing games for his players as to where they stand with their coach. Communication will be clear between both sides.

“I don’t play mind games. Players know where they stand with me, good or bad. I’ll push my players, that’s what good coaches do.” – Travis Green

“I expect a lot of my players. I want players to succeed. I want to push a 15-goal scorer to become a 25-goal scorer.” – Travis Green

He’s worked his way up from playing in the league to coaching at different levels before landing here in Vancouver. Yes, he doesn’t have any experience coaching in the NHL but his time coaching in the minors will help him as he navigates this latest step. Every NHL coach started behind the bench somewhere and this is Green’s shot. Welcome to the big leagues, Travis.

Welcome home, coach! You’re officially one of us now! We are all Canucks.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E. L.

UTICAAAAAAAA…can you hear us?

UticaCometsCCFDear Utica Comets,

Do you have ANY idea just how insanely proud you have made not only your fans, but also Canucks fans and the entire Vancouver Canucks organization?! There are not enough words to fully express just how amazing it has been to watch the transition in Utica from last year to this year. There truly is something special happening in your city from the fans, to the players to the coaches and the will to win that you have all embraced from the start of the year.

Travis Green has done an impeccable job mentoring the players and instilling in them all what it means to play an unselfish game and never wavering in the belief that ANYTHING is possible if you give it your all. The players embraced the systems not only individually but collectively as a group, allowing them to play their best nearly every night. Goalie Jacob Markstrom had an incredible year despite what the doubters said prior to the year and has carried that impeccable play over into the post-season.

As for the fans…what can I say about the fans over there that have set an incredible precedent for what it means to be a hockey fan through thick and thin? Comets fans are truly, truly, truly special and believe me…UTICAAAAAAAA, we can hear you LOUD and CLEAR, every single game in Vancouver…can you hear us all in Canucks nation cheering with you? You are giving these young players an incredible gift of support as they continue to further develop their game, that they will never forget no matter where their careers take them.

There may be many or only a few miles that separate us all, but we are all on the same side when it comes to supporting the Utica Comets. No matter how this Calder Cup Final ends, please know that all around the globe, there are fans who are insanely proud of how far you have come and we will be here cheering you all the way. Here’s to an incredible atmosphere as the series shifts back to the AUD for the next three games! Go Comets Go! Canucks nation is on your side ALL THE WAY!!!

Sincerely, an insanely proud Canucks and Comets fan,

Sarah Laug

SUMMER SERIES Reminder: there is STILL time to sign up for the TRUE BLUE 2015 summer series featuring the best part of hockey: YOU the fans! Fan stories are the best hockey stories and there is room for ALL CANUCKS and COMETS fans alike… simply click the link:

https://nucksaid.com/2015/05/12/true-blue-2015/

OR e-mail me: nucksaid@gmail.com to find our more details!

 

 

 

TRUE BLUE 2015

cropped-canucksbanner.jpgCalling all Canucks fans, it’s that time again…time for a summer of True Blue stories!

In the Summer of 2014, I began a series on Nucksaid called “True Blue” that featured THE best part of Vancouver Canucks hockey, YOU the fans and YOUR stories. This year I would love to do the very same and invite any and ALL of you who would like to share your Canucks AND/OR your Utica Comets stories to take part in True Blue 2015!  Whether you took part in the series LAST year or are participating for the first time, I would love to hear your stories and be able to share them with others. Whether you are from BC, across Canada or from across the globe, your stories are unique and make you a part of Canucks nation or Comets Army or BOTH.  Those who participated last year made this an incredible series to be a part of and proved that this game that binds us all together is so much more than a game.

If you ARE interested in taking part in the True Blue 2015 series send me an email to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line:TRUE BLUE 2015 for more details on how to take part in the summer series. Let’s make this another summer all about YOU and YOUR hockey/Canucks/Comets stories as we count down to the new season in the fall! Here’s making this another summer to remember!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.