Green: Canucks 'not going to hide' from rough 2020-21 season
The Vancouver Canucks struggled both on and off the ice last season en route to a last-place finish in the North Division, and head coach Travis Green wants to tackle his team's issues head-on.
"We were on the right road going into the bubble year and we've been taking steps, but last year was tough. We're not going to hide from that. We didn't have a very good season, and I expect a bounce-back year," Green said, according to The Province's Ben Kuzma.
"This is the most excited I've been coming into a season as a coach," he added.
The scariest part of the Canucks' 2020-21 campaign came via a brutal bout with COVID-19 throughout March and April that forced the rescheduling of several games. Now, Green is looking forward to a return to semi-normalcy with training camp set to kick off Sept. 23.
"Getting back to regular hockey - or as close as we can be - with a full camp and fans in the building and the changes we've made along with the evolution of our young group, I expect them to be better," he said.
A makeover was needed after the Canucks gave up the sixth-most goals in the NHL. Among the new additions for Vancouver are forwards Conor Garland and Jason Dickinson, defensemen Tucker Poolman, Luke Schenn, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, as well as goaltender Jaroslav Halak. Additionally, top prospect Vasili Podkolzin looks primed to make a splash this season.
"We've added some different players, but after the season we had, we have to be better in all areas of our game - defensively and offensively," Green said. "I don't think there's any team that goes into training camp without concerns. Winning isn't easy. A lot of teams expect to make the playoffs, but you can't get ahead of yourself."
"We understand that sometimes these contracts take a little while and probably longer than the player or team wants," Green said. "I'm confident they'll get things sorted out and be in camp."