Travis Green officially named Senators as new head coach

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The Ottawa Senators have turned to Travis Green to try to help their core take the next step.

The Senators made it official Tuesday morning when the club named Green, 53, as its new head coach and he will be introduced by Steve Staios, president of hockey operations and general manager, at a news conference Wednesday at the Canadian. Tire center.

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Staios will be joined by owner Michael Andlauer and senior vice president of hockey operations Dave Poulin. Green emerged as the first choice after a long search that began in late December, when the club sacked coach DJ Smith and inserted Jacques Martin behind the bench on an interim basis.

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Green signed a four-year deal with the Senators, which is a long term by NHL standards.

“After speaking with several highly qualified candidates, it was clear that Travis is the right candidate to lead our group,” Staios said in a statement. “As we have often said, developing a winning culture is paramount to our aspiration for sustained success.

“Travis has a burning desire to win, is passionate about teaching and holds his players to a very high level. “We are excited to welcome him and his family to the Ottawa-Gatineau community.”

The club said in its press release that Green’s job is to work with players like captain Brady Tkachuk along with Tim Stutzle, Josh Norris, Jake Sanderson, Thomas Chabot, Drake Batherson and Shane Pinto to help this club become a contender.

“Green picks up where Martin left off with this core,” the club stated. “After taking the reins for the final 56 games of the season, Martin instilled a sense of responsibility and commitment to playing away from the puck where the Senators needed to improve.

“Green will be tasked with continuing to foster that growth in this core with aspirations of taking the next step toward becoming a playoff team.”

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Green has his work cut out for him here. The Senators have missed the playoffs for seven straight years and this roster wasn’t good enough to compete last year. He has to trust Staios to do some of the heavy lifting during the offseason by making the right changes.

Staios has stated that he knows he needs to make changes to this roster. The club is bound and determined to add some leadership to help take some of the load off veteran winger Claude Giroux so the Senators can return to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

Green spent five years behind Vancouver’s bench and struggled for success, but Canucks observers at the time say owner Francesco Aquilini was meddling in a big way, leading to an atmosphere that has been described as “dysfunctional.” ” and “impossible” of Succeed.

Green finished with a 133-147-34 record in nearly five seasons with the Canucks. He posted a .478 winning percentage and made the playoffs just once during his tenure. That’s when the NHL entered a bubble to close out the COVID-19-delayed 2019-20 campaign.

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He was given the interim tag in New Jersey when general manager Tom Fitzgerald fired Lindy Ruff at the end of the season. Green, 53, finished with an 8-12-1 record in 21 games after taking over, but the Devils knew their chance of making the playoffs was slim when Fitzgerald made the move.

Green informed the Devils last week that he was taking the job with the Senators.

The market may be skeptical, but they pointed out to us that coaches tend to be better in their second stint. That’s because they learned from what they did wrong and Green stepped back to be an assistant since he was fired by the Canucks. Not all former head coaches will do that.

A former player, Green suited up for 970 games in his NHL career with the New York Islanders, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. Green scored 193 goals and 455 points in that span.

It’s interesting to note that Green was viewed as a villain in Ottawa during the Battle of Ontario during his three seasons with the Leafs. That was during the heyday when the Leafs had players like Darcy Tucker and Tie Domi with the late Pat Quinn behind the bench.

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If former captain Daniel Alfredsson remains in his role as assistant coach, then the two longtime rivals will work side by side with the same goal of helping turn the Senators into a winner.

The Senators are also believed to have interviewed former Minnesota Wild coach Dean Evason, former Los Angeles Kings coach Todd McLellan, and had informal conversations with former St. Louis Blues coach Craig Berube.

We’re told Staios’ list was extensive and he spoke to several coaches, including some who had no NHL experience. In the end, Staios felt it was paramount to have someone who had been behind an NHL bench before because of where this organization needs to go.

Only time will tell if Green is the right hire for the Senators, but everyone deserves a second chance at life and it’s up to him to get this group to buy into what he’s selling when training camp opens in September.

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