The Vancouver Canucks will have many of the same faces back behind the bench and on the ice at practice next season, but one important position has been filled with an experienced free agent. Brad Shaw, who previously worked with the Columbus Blue Jackets but parted ways with them last month, has been hired as an assistant for head coach Travis Green.
Kyle Gustafson has also been hired as an Assistant/Special Assignment Coach, while Nolan Baumgartner, Jason King, Darryl Seward and, perhaps most importantly, Ian Clark have all signed contract extensions. Chris Higgins will resume his role with the player development department.
The big hire here is Shaw, who has nearly two decades behind NHL benches. Before joining John Tortorella in Columbus, he worked with the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues. He served as an associate coach with the Blues from 2012-2016, helping to develop the defensive core that helped them win a Stanley Cup a few years later. Green released a statement on his newest assistants:
We’re excited to welcome two new members to our coaching staff. Brad has a vast amount of coaching experience and a strong technical mind for the game. Kyle is a bright, young coach who will help our team and strengthens our coaching staff.
There was also plenty of concern that Clark would be leaving the organization, but Patrick Johnson of the Vancouver Province tweets that it is expected to be a five-year deal for the goalie coach. That’s a very long term for an assistant, longer even than the deal that Green recently signed.