Canucks listen to fans, make wholesale changes starting with Bruce Boudreau

The Vancouver Canucks completed an early season house-cleaning by firing general manager Jim Benning, assistant GM John Weisbrod as well as head coach Travis Green and assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner.

The Canucks, who are second-to-last in the Western Conference, announced the wholesale changes early Monday morning.

The team announced Bruce Boudreau as new coach and Scott Walker as assistant coach.

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Canucks difficult decisions

“These are difficult decisions, but we believed we would have a competitive group this year,” Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini said in a statement. “As a result, I’m extremely disappointed in how the team has performed so far. I’m making these changes because we want to build a team that competes for championships and it’s time for new leadership to help take us there.”

Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to the Pittsburgh Penguins dropped the Canucks’ record to 8-15-2. They are in last place in the Pacific Division with 18 points, with only the Arizona Coyotes (12) beneath them in the Western Conference standings.

Green, 50, was in his fifth season as Vancouver’s coach and exits with a record of 133-147-34. He guided the Canucks to the playoffs once — a second-round exit in 2019-20. In May, the team rewarded Green with a two-year contract extension.

Boudreau brings experience

Boudreau, 66, coached the Washington Capitals (2007-11) and Anaheim Ducks (2011-16) for four-plus seasons and the Minnesota Wild (2016-20) for just less than four seasons. He won the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach in 2007-08 and owns a career record of 567-302-115.

“Bruce is one of the most experienced coaches in the NHL, with nearly 1,000 games behind the bench and a successful track record working with some of the game’s best talent,” Aquilini said.

The team named Stan Smyl interim GM and Ryan Johnson interim assistant GM while the search for new hockey operations leadership has begun.

Benning has been GM since 2014 and became Vancouver’s top exec in July 2018.

–Field Level Media