Comets name Green coach, will play in North Division


UTICA, N.Y. - The Utica Comets got two big pieces of news Thursday:  Travis Green was named the team's first ever head coach was named and the AHL assigned them to the North Division in the Western Conference.

Vancouver Canucks President & General Manager Michael D. Gillis announced that the Canucks have named Green the Head Coach, saying: "We are very pleased to have Travis Green join our organization.  He brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and a winning pedigree to the role. His experience as a player and immediate success as a Head Coach, guiding Portland to a WHL Championship this past year, are tremendous assets to lead and develop our players and prospects in Utica.”

“Travis is an ex-teammate of mine, the Comets are lucky to have a great coach, and even better person.” said Comets President Robert Esche. “We anxiously await Travis's arrival, and contributions to the Utica Comets.”

“Travis is a great person to be the inaugural coach of the Utica Comets. He is a guy that fans and players alike, can rally behind, and help build up the already tremendous levels of passion and commitment to success.” said Comets Co-Chairman Frank B. DuRoss.

Green, 42, most recently served as the Assistant General Manager and interim Head Coach of the 2012.13 WHL champion and Memorial Cup runner-up Portland Winterhawks. As head coach, he helped Portland to a record of 37-8-2 in the regular season, earning the Scotty Munroe Trophy as the WHL’s top regular season team. He led the Winterhawks to a Western Conference Championship and President’s Cup (WHL champions) in the postseason before falling in the final game of the Memorial Cup Championship to the Halifax Mooseheads.

Prior to serving as interim Head Coach, Green served as Assistant Coach and Assistant General Manager for the Winterhawks from October 28, 2008 through 2012.13. As Assistant Coach, Green helped the Winterhawks to a record of 160-99-8-7 and three consecutive league finals appearances, making the playoffs all but one season behind the bench.

The Castlegar, BC, native played 14 seasons in the NHL before playing his last year of professional hockey with EV Zug in Switzerland. In 970 career games with the New York Islanders, Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins, he collected 455 points (193-262-455) and 764 penalty minutes.

The former center was originally selected by the New York Islanders in the second round, 23rd overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.

Earlier in the day, American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced that the league’s Board of Governors, convening this week for its Annual Meeting in Hilton Head Island, S.C., approved the division alignment for the 2013-14 AHL season.

The Comets will join the Rochester Americans, Hamilton Bulldogs, Lake Erie Monsters and Toronto Marlies in the North Division.

The format for the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs was also approved by the Board of Governors, and remains the same as 2013: Eight teams in each conference will qualify for the postseason, with the three division winners earning the top three seeds and the next five best teams in order of regular-season points seeded fourth through eighth. The conference quarterfinals will be best-of-five series; the conference semifinals, conference finals and Calder Cup Finals will be best-of-seven series. Teams will be re-ordered after the first round so that the highest-remaining seed plays the lowest-remaining seed.

The playing schedule for the 2013-14 regular season, which begins Oct. 4, will be announced later this summer.

Here's a full rundown of all six divisions:

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Manchester Monarchs (LA)
Portland Pirates (PHX)
Providence Bruins (BOS)
St. John’s IceCaps (WPG)
Worcester Sharks (SJ)

Northeast Division
Adirondack Phantoms (PHI)
Albany Devils (NJ)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)
Hartford Wolf Pack (NYR)
Springfield Falcons (CBJ)

East Division
Binghamton Senators (OTT)
Hershey Bears (WSH)
Norfolk Admirals (ANA)
Syracuse Crunch (TB)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)

Western Conference
North Division
Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)
Lake Erie Monsters (COL)
Rochester Americans (BUF)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)
Utica Comets (VAN)

Midwest Division
Chicago Wolves (STL)
Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)
Iowa Wild (MIN)
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Rockford IceHogs (CHI)

West Division
Abbotsford Heat (CGY)
Charlotte Checkers (CAR)
Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)
San Antonio Rampage (FLA)
Texas Stars (DAL)

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