It was no secret that Detroit Red Wings were going sell at the trade deadline and had a big asset in Mike Green. However, there’s one player that’s still on the team that boggles the mind of experts that Green is still with the club.
The team is going to be in the midst of a long and painful rebuild. General manager Ken Holland did make some moves to clear out salary and get some vital draft picks. Holland was able to get three high draft picks from the Vegas Golden Knights for an under-performing Tomas Tatar. He was also able to get a minimum fourth-round pick from the Philadelphia Flyers for Petr Mrazek.
It was a pretty successful trade deadline, but it could have been so much more had Holland managed to find a taker for the puck-moving blueliner.
Why Wasn’t Mike Green Dealt?
A defenseman of Green’s kind is hard to come by these days. He’s a solid quarterback on the power play and a right-handed shot. Green is in the final year of his contract and would have been the perfect rental for a contender.
Ironically the Lightning were interested in Green but decided to trade for New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh at the deadline. Green’s former team, the Washington Capitals, were interested in bringing him back, but that deal also fell through. The 32-year-old blueliner had agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to either the Lightning or the Capitals.
“He was open to being traded. He would have loved to have the opportunity to go to a team that had a real chance to win the Stanley Cup,” Holland said to mlive.com. “Two teams wanted to know specifically what was going on with his injury and that had a real bearing on their decision. I think between the defensemen possibly available and the (uncertainty) of the injury, it all impacted it.”
What it Means for the Future
The Wings missed a golden opportunity to trade a valuable commodity to give the long rebuild more ammunition. It was initially Holland’s goal to have double-digit draft picks going into this year’s draft in Dallas.
Detroit can still trade Green, but he wouldn’t be eligible to play in the playoffs. The team can trade his exclusive negotiating rights before the start of free agency. The Chicago Blackhawks did that with Scott Darling during last season’s playoffs.
However, there’s talk that Green could re-sign with the team. He was the club’s only All-Star representative and would be a veteran leader to a very young group. The price tag and/or term of the contract would have to come down, but he is open to staying.
Holland’s tenure with the Red Wings is likely coming to an end, but he did set the team up for the future. However, dealing Mike Green would have been a big boost.
OTTAWA, ON – APRIL 04: Detroit Red Wings Defenceman Mike Green (25) waits for the faceoff during first period National Hockey League action between the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators on April 4, 2017, at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)