With the trade deadline approaching, we will be profiling several players in the weeks ahead that have a good chance to be dealt by February 26th.
The Red Wings desperately needed a trade chip as Hockeytown stares at another likely season without a playoff appearance. Mike Green fits that role, has been healthy, and one of the leaders on the scoresheet this season for an offensively starved Red Wings squad. Green is also the lone Detroit All-Star. For a team seeking prospects and picks, any additional positive with Green can only help.
Green is in the final year of a three-year, $18MM deal ($6MM AAV). He does have a no-trade clause, but most pundits agree that for the right team, he’ll waive it for a chance at the Stanley Cup.
Green is on pace for his best season in Motown. After a hot start with 11 points in his first 10 games, Green cooled but has still been the best producer on what is a very thin blue line. In his last ten games, Green has just one goal and three assists and had a brutal game against Chicago, being on the ice for four of the five Blackhawk goals. Though he’s known for being an offensive defenseman, Green is weak in his own end, which has been apparent on a Red Wings squad that suffers defensively. A glimpse into his advanced stats and it tells a story of a defenseman logging top minutes for a below average team. One of his liabilities this season has been turning the puck awful in bad spots–often leading to scoring chances or goals.
Green brings a right hand shot from the point and is a mainstay on what was a resurgent Red Wings power play. As of late, Detroit has struggled but Green’s crisp passing and offensive prowess is a major asset.
48 GP, 5 goals, 21 assists, 26 points, -5 rating, 26 PIM, 22:35 ATOI, 46.8 CF%,
His former team, the Washington Capitals, come to mind right away as there would be comfort there with some familiar faces on the bench. Tampa Bay is another option, as they’re certainly gearing up for what should be a long run and adding Green to an already strong blue line would only strengthen an already formidable corps. Vegas, as Craig Custance pointed out, has a “ton of picks” and former Washington general manager George McPhee drafted Green back in 2004.
One other team to keep in mind–the Chicago Blackhawks. Though at this point it may be a longshot due to their struggles, the Red Wings could ease the burden of the cap hit by absorbing 50% of it to grab either a prospect or a draft pick. There’s no secret that Chicago needs a few more pieces on the blue line and Green’s offensive upside could be of help, especially for a power play that has been abysmal this season.
Likelihood of a Trade
It’s not if he’ll be traded but when. There are a lot of question marks in Detroit–first and foremost being the future of Ken Holland. Though not in it for the rebuild, Holland’s hand has been forced as its evident the Wings are nowhere near a playoff team or contender. Holland is also in the final year of a contract with no talks of an extension. In the salary cap era, Holland has been reluctant to trade and when he has, the returns have often been underwhelming. The Red Wings need as many high picks as they can get and unless the market dictates it, it will be tough to pry a first round pick away for him. Second and third round picks seem the likeliest options for him, if not a prospect as well. Holland needs to be creative and Green provides his best chance at a nice return.
All that remains to be seen is whether it’s closer to the deadline or sooner.