With John Tavares hogging all the attention, everyone is forgetting about the arguably best UFA defenseman available, Mike Green. While he is far removed from his ridiculous 70 point seasons in Washington, he is still a very serviceable player. His four straight 35+ point seasons from the back end put him in good company. Any team looking for an offensive defenseman who can quarterback a powerplay should be looking right here.
Who are some good fits? The first team that comes to mind is Las Vegas. They have a ton of cap space and could very well be losing a couple key vets in Perron and Neal. Mike Green could be a perfect addition to provide that leadership that will be lost with them, and give a little boost to the back end. The second team that comes to mind would be the Toronto Maple Leafs, provided they miss out on Tavares. It’s clear JT is their priority heading into July 1st, but I think Green would be a great backup plan, and could still play on the top pairing beside Morgan Rielly.
The big question is how much will he cost? His previous contract with the Wings was for an average cap hit of $6 million per year, so we can safely assume is should be below that. Add on top of that, he is coming off surgery which should lower his value, and I would estimate he could be had for around $4.5-$5 million average on a short term deal. It could be a moderate risk with potential for high reward for a number of teams.
Will Mike Green re-sign with Detroit? It is reported he has been offered a deal by the Detroit organization, but he wishes to test free agency at this point, so it couldn’t have been too enticing.
This is a defender who still has a lot left in the tank. He lead Red Wings in ice time averaging over 22 minutes a night. It’s a good time to get value on him while the focus of Free Agency is turn toward Tavares.