In our ongoing look at possible additions to the Oilers defense, we change the conversation from blue to Green.
Lord Almighty the team taking on Mike Green is going to have some gonads. Mike Green never met an injury he didn’t like and in the last three seasons has played 75, 49 and (so far this season) 20 games. He missed a lot of time in 2010-11 with a concussion and this season his ankle and groin haven’t been right. "Sports hernia" has been mentioned most often as the main culprit, although a 3-game suspension is the reason for him being out of the lineup most recently.
When healthy, Mike Green can impact a game offensively. Over 386 NHL games, his per season (82 games) average is 17-36-53 and almost half of his 82 career goals have been scored on the powerplay. For the Oilers already high octane future 5×4, this Green (offensive) giant would be an excellent fit.
Green is an RFA this summer as he ends a 4-year deal that came with a tidy $5.25M hit. That’s lot of beans; he’s not as expensive as Dion Phaneuf (6.5M) but the next contract is to come and Green’s durability is a major concern.
HOW DO THE CAPS USE HIM?
This is a small sample size, but Green got the same kind of treatment in 10-11. Capitals wanted their big bat in the heart of the order, and that means zone starts in the offensive zone. In this way, Green and Phaneuf are handled in a similar fashion.
Green isn’t facing the tough opponents this season, in fact Washington is using Schultz, Alzner and the far less experienced John Carlson in tough minutes roles. Green played the same sort of minutes last year, and for Oiler fans looking at Green it’s important to note that Phaneuf’s role on his team (tough minutes defender) is not duplicated with this player. Mike Green is not a featured defensive player.
Green’s CorsiRel is solid, as it was a year ago. The puck is heading in a good direction when he’s on the ice, and if the Oilers had a trio as strong defensively as Schultz, Alzner and Carlson they could use Green in this kind of role. They do not, and so Green on the 12-13 Oilers would likely have to play tougher opponents based on roster makeup.
- EV: 0-3-3, 16:23 per game
- PP: 3-0-3, 2:56 per game
- PK: 0-0-0, 0:58 per game
This isn’t really fair, as Green has been injured for most of this season. When healthy, Green is a terrific PP defender: in 09-10, his last healthy season, he went 10-25-35 with the man advantage. In comparing Green to Phaneuf, the Leafs captain plays 3 more minutes a night at evens, 40 seconds more on the PP and 1:30 more on the PK.
In his last healthy season, Green played enormous (18:15, 5, 2) minutes for Washington and a team acquiring him would no doubt use him 25 minutes a night–it comes with the pricetag. A team like Edmonton would probably need to see him play a feature role defensively.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Mike Green is like a younger Sheldon Souray: huge, definite positives that will require a large payment. The downside for Green–he’s not an outstanding defender, he is extremely injury prone, he is likely to want a fairly long, expensive contract–make him unattractive at this time. We’ll talk about it more on the series wrap-up, but the cost to pull Green out of Washington added to the new contract mean an extreme payment by the Oilers or any team looking to add Mike Green..
He might end up being healthy for a decade. Green is only 26, he could be a nice addition to the group of young NHLers with experience that includes Smid and will eventually include Petry. Green is a player of interest for the Oilers, in that they require a defenseman who can play heavy minutes and has experience in all three disciplines (EV, PP and PK).
I’d pass on the opportunity. Let someone else take the risk.