Green Understands He'll Be Moving
You have to give Mike Green credit for being stand-up guy and and not shying away from the elephant in the room as he appears at this weekend’s NHL All-Star Game festivities.
The Detroit Red Wings’ lone representative in the game, the reality is that before long, the veteran defenseman won’t be a Red Wing any longer. With Green headed toward unrestricted free agency and the Wings headed for oblivion, he will absolutely be dealt before the Feb. 26 NHL trade deadline.
Naturally, as the hockey media gathered for the all-star festivities, Green’s future destination was a hot topic for conversation. And rather than shy away from or try to deflect the questions, Green faced reality head on and did his best to answer each enquiry.
“I think I’ve been around long enough that it doesn’t affect me,” Green told reporters of the trade speculation surrounding him. “I understand how it all works. With the uncertainty, there’s not much I can do other than play good hockey.
“When there’s decisions to be made, obviously we’ll make some. I don’t know any more than that.”
If you’re an NHL contender, there’s a lot of appeal to what Green can bring to your team. He’s a skilled puck mover, a steady point producer, can anchor the point on a power play and on top of that, is the always-coveted right-hand shot defender.
“If teams are looking for that, then obviously I fit the description,” Green acknowledged. And yes, teams are very much looking for that.
On the one hand, Green acknowledged that given his druthers, he’d prefer to stay with the Wings.
“It’s tough to talk and discuss my future in Detroit,” Green admitted. “I love it in Detroit. I’m enjoying my time playing there right now. Hopefully, I stay.”
Realistically, Green understands that hope isn’t likely to be fulfilled. And with that, he even admitted that he does look at other teams, other scenarios, and ponder how he’d fit in as a piece of their puzzle.
“I think you think about it, or you understand how that team plays because you’ve played against them,” Green said. “And then you can kind of implement to see whether you . . . yeah, you think about it.
“Whether that team is going to be looking for you or not is another thing. I think you just go through the thought process involved once you have to make a decision and whatever’s on the table.”
As the Wings slide further and further out of the playoff picture, that day of decision for Green grows closer. With a no-trade clause, he does control his future fate to a point. Certainly, the Wings will hope to land a first-round draft pick, or at the least a couple of second-round picks in return for the former 31-goal scorer.
When that day arrives, Green will be disappointed to become an ex-Red Wing, but emboldened by the thought he should be moving to a team with a legitimate chance to lift the Stanley Cup this spring.
“It’s part of the business,” Green said of trades. “I wouldn’t consider that a huge life change. It’s sort of just part of the game. We’ve all traveled and been around junior hockey. This is kind of ingrained in us now.
“I think that where it’s interesting, it’s exciting, and it’s kind of on the other end a little bit sad at times. I think that’s where the emotions come into it. But yeah, if you look at it as a more exciting opportunity, how things are going to pan out, I think that’s the only way you can go about it.”
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