Capitals Sign Mike Green
Yesterday, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced the resigning of defenseman Mike Green. The Calgary, Alberta native signed a three-year, $18.25 million contract after not signing the Capitals qualifying offer of $5 million a year. Obviously, the 26-year-old defenseman knew what he was doing when he did not sign, considering he received the money he was seeking.
Although Green is a fan favorite, it is interesting how quick the Capitals were willing to give into the offensive-minded defenseman. Green has not played more than 50 games in a regular season since the 2009-2010 season. Also, Green has only scored 11 goals and 20 assists in the last two regular seasons combined.
The lack of production in Green's game in the last couple of seasons could be because of a couple of reasons. First, Green has had a plethora of injuries, ranging from shoulder, knee, hip flexor, ankle, groin muscle to two concussions over his seven year career in the NHL. Besides the laundry list of injuries Green has endured over the years, his offensive production can be dictated by a coach's system.
Second, the Capitals switched to a more defensive system during the 2009-2010 season after losing to the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs the previous season. Third, the players had to adjust to a new head coach in Dale Hunter during the last season. Even though Green was out for more than half of the regular season last season, Hunter did not want defenseman pinching in the offensive zone which happens to be one of Green's best attributes.
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What makes Green's signing even more interesting is the fact that John Carlson remains to be signed. With only $10.5 million of salary cap room and signing an injury prone defenseman(Green) for roughly $6 million a year, the Capitals are going to have to give Carlson the money he wants. The 22 year old American, Carlson has been one of the highlights of the Capitals defense, using his 6'3" frame. Not only is Carlson a young big body, he also has the offensive capabilities to create plays on his own.
Carlson has played in every game in the last two seasons, not missing one game for an injury. As a rookie, Carlson scored an overtime game winning goal against the Canadiens. Also, Carlson scored two goals in this years' playoff series against the New York Rangers.
It is doubtful that McPhee would sign Mike Green without knowing if the Capitals could sign John Carlson with the remaining cap room. However, Carlson still remains a free agent. Within the next week, Carlson should be signing with the Capitals. If Carlson does not get signed, the Green signing will most likely be the reason.
If any general manager in the NHL had the option of an injury prone 26 year old defenseman or a 22 year old defenseman whom has not been injured in his three seasons playing in the NHL, they would pick the younger defenseman every time. Hence why McPhee would not have signed Green if he did not know that he has enough cap room to give the Carlson the money he is asking for and deserves.
By: Stephen London
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer