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Green ready to push Sens: 'Any winning team has accountability'

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Ottawa Senators found themselves craving accountability after another underwhelming season. New head coach Travis Green is ready to answer that call.

"Players want to know where they stand," he said during his introductory presser Wednesday. "They want to know what's expected of them. That starts, really, by communicating. ... Any winning team has accountability within their group."

"I'm gonna push the team in a direction of improving and making it a winner and having winning attributes," he added. "It's one thing to be a skilled group, it's another thing to be a skilled, winning group. ... That's part of the conversations I'm gonna have with our team, is what it takes to win."

The Senators officially hired Green on Tuesday, signing the former NHL forward to a four-year deal. Ottawa has missed the playoffs for the last seven seasons and has failed to meet heightened expectations over the past two years.

Green pointed to defensive play as one of the largest areas of improvement for the Senators, who ranked 28th in goals against per game (3.43) this season.

"You see that a lot with young, skilled players, getting them to grasp the commitment level to play in their zone. ... There's obviously technique, structure, details that are taught, but a big part of it is the mindset," he said.

He added: "If you want to win, you've got to play a 200-foot game."

Senators general manager Steve Staios revealed that he had serious discussions with six candidates. Todd McLellan, Dean Evason, and Craig Berube were reportedly on Ottawa's list earlier in the hunt.

Green owns an all-time coaching record of 141-159-35. He served as interim bench boss of the New Jersey Devils for the last month of the 2023-24 campaign and was the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 2017-21.

Staios explained his choice to go with Green rather than a more established candidate.

"I think, as we watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs right now, you can look at a few or a handful of coaches ... that were in the exact same position as (Green) is right now. ... It's a lot deeper than win-loss records," the executive said.

Green, meanwhile, is excited to be back coaching north of the border.

"I think it's a privilege to coach in Canada, play in Canada," he said. "There's something to be said for winning in Canada. There is pressure, and I like that."

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