Mike Green weighing offers from Detroit Red Wings
Signing a defenseman who’ll be 33 at the start of the season might seem counterproductive for a rebuilding team like the Detroit Red Wings.
But they don’t have many sources of offense from the blue line and the free-agent class is thin, which is why they hope to retain Mike Green.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland informed Green late in the season the team was interested in re-signing him in the off-season, even if he would have been traded at the deadline.
Green is weighing offers of one and two years from the Red Wings, who let him know they’re not comfortable giving him three years, like they did in 2015.
Green surely could get a longer term in free agency, but he likes playing in Detroit.
Right-shooting puck-movers who can provide offense, like Green, are at premium. He likely will gauge other teams’ interest when the free-agent interview period begins later this month.
Green tallied eight goals and 25 assists in 66 games and led the team in average ice time for the second year in a row. His season ended on March 22, when the team announced he needed neck surgery (herniated disc), which he underwent in April. He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
The injury, which he suffered earlier in the season and aggravated before the trade deadline, prevented him from being dealt. Green had agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to Tampa Bay or Washington.
If Green doesn’t re-sign, the Red Wings could look to free agency. They’re interested in John Carlson, who is by far the top defenseman expected to hit the market. He’s 28, shoots right and collected 15 goals and 53 assists for the Washington Capitals. But it’s hard to imagine he would go from a Stanley Cup champion to a team that hasn’t made the playoffs the past two seasons.
If Carlson leaves Washington, Green would be a natural fit to return to the franchise where he flourished his first 10 seasons. Green is the second-highest scoring defenseman among pending UFAs. After that, there is a significant dip in quality.
The Red Wings plan on moving in at least one defense prospect from the Grand Rapids Griffins. Filip Hronek, a skilled righthanded shooter who flourished during his first pro season, is the leading candidate. Joe Hicketts is another possibility. Dennis Cholowski, their top pick in 2016, also will compete for a job but probably needs some time in the AHL since he’s just turning pro.
After Green, the Red Wings’ second-highest scoring defenseman was Niklas Kronwall (27 points), followed by Trevor Daley (16 points) and Nick Jensen (15 points).