3. Mike Green – Washington Capitals
Apr 8, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green (52) skates with the puck as Boston Bruins right wing Reilly Smith (18) chases in the first period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Just a few short years ago, it would have been unconceivable that the Washington Capitals would allow Mike Green to walk away for nothing. However, after signing Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen to monstrous contracts and with the continued development of Karl Alzner and John Carlson, it looks like Green will be free to sign where he pleases next week.
It seems like he’s been around forever, but Green is still just 29 years of age and is far from over the hill. He is a fantastic skating, puck moving defenceman who can carry the puck with ease, make a great pass out of the zone and quarterback a power play.
Green is not the best defensive defenceman in the entire league, but his defensive zone coverage and physical play has come a long way from his “pond hockey” days of 2007-10 when he was scoring nearly a point per game.
Green played primarily as the Capitals number five defenseman last year and scored ten goals, 35 assists and 45 points. He wouldn’t be a perfect fit on the Flames, since they already have Brodie and Wideman on the right side. However, if Green were signed, he could play on the third pairing and power play, or could allow Brodie to move back to the left side, and then Green could play with Giordano where his odd defensive miscue would be covered up.
Green will be expensive to sign, as he is coming off a three year deal with a cap hit just north of $6.0 million per year. It would like cost the Flames a shade under $6.0 million on a five or six year deal to sign Green, but his offensive game is so enticing, you have to make the call and see if something can be worked out.