The Edmonton Oilers will return to the ice without veteran defender Mike Green. The 34-year-old informed the team of his decision as uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 continues to exist in the world. Edmonton was chosen as one of the league’s bubble cities for its restart but Green indicated the health of his family is behind the move. The team announced the decision early Saturday evening.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 11, 2020
Oilers Mike Green Opts-Out of NHL Restart
Green played in only two games in 2019-20 for Edmonton before the league ceased play in the spring. He joined the team via trade with the Detroit Red Wings in late February. He was traded to Edmonton by Detroit for Kyle Brodziak and Edmonton’s 4th round (conditional) pick in 2020 NHL Draft.
Green had three goals and 11 points in 48 games with the Red Wings while averaging 21:04 of ice time per contest.
The Washington Capitals originally selected Green in the first round of the 2004 Draft. He played with Washington for 10 years before signing a contract with Detroit in 2015. Green has 150 goals and 501 points in 880 games. His best season came in 2008-09 when he scored a career-high 31 goals and 73 points in 68 games. He has also been a fine puck possession defender with a career 52.6 Corsi For but he has started to decline in his 30’s with below-average numbers for the past several seasons. It didn’t help that Green was on a fading Detroit team that has failed to accumulate even 80 points since a 93-point campaign in 2015-16.
What This Means for the Future
Green was scheduled to reach free agency this season where he will try to convince a team he can still contribute as he moves into his mid-30’s. He hasn’t been a good player for several years but a contender might sign him as a spare veteran. His spot will go to one of Edmonton’s existing defensive options.
Green is also the third player to opt-out so far. Both Sven Baertschi and Travis Hamonic will stay home as well. More players could make the same decision in the coming days despite efforts to maintain safe environments.