The Red Wings have re-signed veteran blue-liner Mike Green to a two-year contract worth $10.75 million, Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press reports. The contract will carry an AAV of $5.375 million.
In 66 games last season, Mike Green put up 8 goals and 33 points before ending the season early due to neck surgery.
Green, who will start the season at 33 years old, joins Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Kronwall, Trevor Daley, Danny DeKeyser, and Nick Jensen as a returning blue line regular from last season. If you want to count Luke Witkowski as a defenseman, that gives the Wings six on their roster with guys like Dennis Cholowski, Filip Hronek, Vili Saarijarvi, and Libor Sulak competing for one or two spots out of camp.
Of that group, the righties include Green, Jensen, Hronek, and Saarijarvi... if that consideration is important.
Behind the group of four listed above, the depth of prospects for defensemen right now doesn’t include a number of guys who look like they’re ready for NHL time (or like prospects at all, to be honest). We’re looking at names like Gustav Lindstrom, Kasper Kotkansalo, Malte Setkov, Cole Fraser, Alfons Malmstrom, or Reilly Webb before we get to the 2018 draft picks or career AHLers/space-fillers like Brian Lashoff or Dylan McIlrath.
With the age of the Wings’ defensive corps and their history of injuries (including Green’s), the signing shouldn’t be a severely-limiting factor in the ability of prospects to grab ice time, but the return on this investment for me is very likely going to be tied to whether the team will be able to spin Green’s offensive talents into a worthwhile trade return before this deal expires.