Detroit Red Wings Player Preview: Mike Green

Will the Wings #1 D-Man still be in Detroit come March?

Last Season

Mike Green was clearly the Red Wings’ best D-Man a year ago. While his offensive production was still down compared to his days with the Capitals, Green amounted 14 G and 36 points in only 72 games last year. 10 of his 36 points came on the power play as well, which for a team that had the 4th worst PP in the NHL, was a pretty successful mark. He was -20 on the year which was good for T-13th worst in the NHL among defenseman. His +/- contradicts how valuable he was to the Red Wings a year ago, as without him, the team could have very easily finished worse than they did.

As mentioned, Green was the Red Wings #1 D-Man last year, and it showed in his ice time. The 31-year-old averaged 23:33 in TOI, which was his best since the 2012-13 season. Green showed that he is still durable and can log you minutes, even though he missed 10 games. The Red Wings have to like the position they are in with Mike Green, because even though his +/- was dreadful (yet, so was almost everyone’s on the team), his play was noticeable and should draw a considerable amount of interest at this year’s deadline.

Trade Talks

It seems like almost everyone with an expiring contract will be made available by the Red Wings at the trade deadline. Green is easily the most enticing trade piece they will have. While Ken Holland is still stuck in the fantasy of “rebuilding on the fly,” when the time comes, he will have no choice but to pull the trigger. Obviously there is still no guarantee Green will be traded, but unless this team surprises everyone and is actually contending come the February 26th (weird to say) deadline, there’s a better than good chance he will be on a new team by years end.

Green’s trade talks seem to be the talking point this year as it is the likely path for him this season. Obviously as fans, we tend to value the Wings players more than most, but a fair expectation for Green would be, at minimum, the same return as Brendan Smith. Defenseman always have a higher value at the trade deadline than forwards (i.e. Smith and Vanek last year). Another good example was Kris Russell in 2015. Russell was traded from the Flames to the Stars for a conditional 2nd, and two of the Stars Top 10 prospects, including Jyrki Jokipakka, while being -4 and having only 15 Pts in 51 GP at the deadline. The topic of Green being traded will be covered much more as we inch closer to the deadline, but hopefully this gives everyone an idea of what “should” be in store for the Red Wings down the road.

Season Expectations

Green will be looked on as the #1 D-Man for the Red Wings again this year, unless somehow Danny Dekeyser crawls out of the shell he has been in. The addition of Trevor Daley will help ease Green’s ice time as well, so expect him to be playing 1-2 minutes less on average than he did a year ago. Hopefully, this team will have their PP woes figured out, and Green is able to add more to his offensive game as well. Green is known as being an offensive defenseman, yet has only gone over 40 points once since 2010. The Red Wings are hoping that changes this year.

While Green is in the final year of his 3-year/$18M deal, he still looks to be productive on the blue line for the Red Wings. The Wings hope he is able to even increase production as he has put up just 35 and 36 points, respectively, in his two years in Detroit. As he will turn 32 a week into the season, Green is inching closer to the back end of his career. However, he will be the #1 guy for the Red Wings yet again this season. Therefore the chances will be there for him to be a solid defenseman for yet another season.

Prediction: 74 GP, 15 G, 28 A, -7, 21:15 TOI

What is your expectation for Mike Green this year?

Norris Trophy finalist out of nowhere!17
Right around 35-40 points like always194
50+ points, huge contributor39
Production drops, barely hits 30 points28
Doesn’t matter, he’ll be traded anyways97