Wednesday, May 29, 2024

‘It’s a job that I love’: Travis Green named new head coach of the Ottawa Senators

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Travis Green is the new head coach of the Ottawa Senators.

Green will replace Jacques Martin, who served as interim coach since December when the team fired coach D.J. Smith after a lackluster start to the season.

The team signed Green to a four-year contract.

The Senators introduced Green as the new head coach during a media conference Wednesday.  

“We engaged in a real deep dive and detailed process to identify our next head coach,” said president of hockey operations and general manager for the Senators, Steve Staios at Wednesday’s media conference. “As we continued to dig in, Travis Green’s fit with our group, his ability to lead our team, became very clear.”

Green said he wants fans to know he knows the struggles the team has had over the years.

“I come here and I know what it means to coach in Canada. I know how bad the people in Ottawa want to win and I’m going to give everything I can to push this team, to make this team into a winning team,” he said. “I want to win a Stanley Cup and I’m going to push this team to get to that place.”

Ottawa Senators’ new head coach Travis Green takes part in his introductory press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Green said he was excited to get started and thanked Staios and team owner Michael Andlauer.

“I felt Michael Andlauer’s passion, his commitment, his support to staff, the players, the fans, and the community. That meant a lot. From a coach, to feel that is important to me,” he said. “The more Steve and I talked, I saw his leadership, his honesty, and his vision for team. You want to feel that with your general manager.”

“As we’ve routinely stated, developing a winning culture is paramount to our aspiration of achieving sustained success. Travis has a burning desire to win, is passionate about teaching and holds his players to a very high standard. We’re excited to welcome he and his family to the Ottawa-Gatineau community,” Staois said Tuesday.

Green, 53, was the interim head coach of the New Jersey Devils this season after having previously worked as the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 2017 to 2021.

“It’s a job that I love,” said Green. “When you’re passionate about the game and you love coaching, it’s the best league in the world and there’s not a lot of these jobs out there.”

Green had posted a mark of 133-147-34 over 314 regular season contests with the Canucks.

The Ottawa Senators finished their season with a 37-41-4 record.

Green played 14 seasons in the NHL with the New York Islanders, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins.

“How I coach players is not the same from player to player. I’m going to try to get the best out of each player individually, but there are going to be certain aspects to our game that are non-negotiable, and they’re going to know what they are,” Green said Wednesday. “I’m a coach with an open door policy. If there’s something they don’t agree with, they can sit down with me and we’ll talk about it.”

Green told reporters he’s a firm and demanding coach.

New Jersey Devils interim coach Travis Green watches the team’s play against the Winnipeg Jets during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 21, 2024, in Newark, N.J. (Adam Hunger/AP Photo)

“When you’re looking for a job as a coach, there are certain things you’re looking for. For me, it starts with the team. Can you have success with this team? I see a very young, talented team with a lot of room for growth. I check that box as far as teaching and developing young players,” he said.

“All I know right now, when I look at this team, it’s young, it’s exciting, it has a bright future. I’m going to push this team to be a winner. For me, that’s part of the conversations I’m going to have with our team, what it takes to win.”

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