Portland Winterhawks Assistant General Manager & Assistant Coach Travis Green has accepted the position of head coach of the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets, the top minor league affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks.
Green joined the Winterhawks in November 2008, and played an important role in turning around the franchise. The Winterhawks set a team record with a 48-point improvement in 2009-10, then won back-to-back Western Conference championships the following two seasons.
Last season, Green took over as acting head coach in late November, and led the team to a record of 37-8-0-2 over the final 47 games of the season. The Hawks then went on to win the WHL Championship, the third in franchise history and first since 1998. The title qualified the Winterhawks for the MasterCard Memorial Cup, where they advanced to the championship game.
“I’m incredibly proud of everything we achieved in the five years I was here, but I feel I’m ready to take the next step and become a head coach,” said Green. “We built a championship team and a culture of winning here, and they’re lessons I will take with me for the rest of my career. I’m grateful to Bill Gallacher, Mike Johnston and the entire organization for the opportunity to begin my coaching and management career with the Winterhawks.”
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“Travis has done a terrific job with the Winterhawks as a coach and also on the management side,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “He’s played an integral part in our success, and like our players it’s great to see him move on and get a professional opportunity. We wish him all the best in Utica.”
Prior to joining the Winterhawks in 2008 Green played nearly 1,000 NHL games with the New York Islanders, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins, and tallied 193 goals and 455 points.
Green also played in the WHL for both the Spokane Chiefs and Medicine Hat Tigers from 1986-1990. During his four seasons he totaled 152 goals and 342 points in 286 games. In 2010 the Chiefs named him one of the top-25 players in their history.