With the recent release of the Edmonton Oilers training camp roster, the news has also come out that defenseman Mike Green has chosen to opt out of the Return to Play Plan, according to Edmonton Journal’s Derek Van Diest. The 34 year old, acquired at the trade deadline from the Detroit Red Wings, was brought on board to bring veteran experience to the team’s defense for their playoff run.
“Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and after much consideration, I’ve decided for deeply personal family health reasons, not to participate in the return to play,” Green said in a statement. “This has been a hard decision knowing I’m going to miss the opportunity to compete in the playoffs with a Stanley Cup contender. I wish the best of luck to the guys and I appreciate the Edmonton Oilers support.”
Green was supposed to step in on the team’s third pairing defense after being picked up for Kyle Brodziak and a conditional fourth-rounder. That conditional fourth-rounder would have become a third-round pick had Green played in 50 percent of the team’s playoff games, which will obviously not happen now. In the end, he only played in two games for the Oilers after sustaining a knee injury after that second game that knocked him out until play was suspended.
Edmonton will look to Kris Russell and Matthew Benning to play on that third pairing. However, there is also opportunity for some of the younger Oilers to win a spot, including Evan Bouchard and William Lagesson. Bouchard, the team’s 2018 first-round pick might be able to win a spot in the Oilers’ lineup after a solid rookie campaign in the AHL this season, while Lagesson did manage to get into eight games with Edmonton earlier this season.