Tim Kavanaugh of ESPN (yes they actually DO talk about hockey sometimes) listed the top three defenseman that could be moved via trade this offseason. Mike Green, Dion Phaneuf (Toronto) and Tyler Myers (Buffalo) have all been linked to rumors recently about possibly switching jerseys and freeing up some much needed cap space for their respective teams.
With the Caps, the idea to move Green blossomed quickly after GM Brian MacLellan signed defenseman Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen to very large deals on the first day of Free Agency on July 1st. Green has now become (according to pundits and analysts and armchair GM’s) expendable because of his expiring contract at the end of the season and because the Capitals desperately need to fill out their offense lineup.
The Detroit Red Wings have been linked to Green for a couple weeks now as they are in need of a right handed defenseman who can control the power play. Green matches everything they are looking for and have about $9.5M in cap space to fit him in. The only problem is that the Red Wings don’t have what the Caps need: a proven second line center or a young forward prospect. Detroit has a slew of talented, young forwards they could offer up, but they won’t do that unless they are desperate. The two that really stand out as a realistic option are Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar.
Jurco has a year remaining on his entry level deal and Tatar is currently an RFA, who the Red Wings are keen on re-signing with that cap space they have.
While both are amazing talents, they could get lost in the Caps lineup as Washington has a nice pipeline of wingers coming up in Kuznetsov (if he doesn’t convert to center), Burakovsky and Riley Barber.
The Caps won’t trade Green right now. GMBM has said on more than one occasion that they want to get Green “back on track”. The Caps have a pretty deep defense at the moment )something I thought I would never say), and the only expendable players at the moment have to be John Erksine, Dmitry Orlov and Jack Hillen.
Washington won’t do anything drastic with Green unless they see an issue with his ability to play at the level he is accustomed to. If Green falters, then we’ll see him traded before or at the deadline. If he does well and gets his game back, then the Caps will have to decide whether to try and sign Green to a hometown discount, or, again, trade him while his value is at it’s highest.
As much as Green has struggled, I would hate to see him go. He’s an amazing talent and good, puck moving defenseman aren’t something that come along very often.
The Colorado Avalanche are another team to watch with Mike Green. They have a lot of good, young talent that they could use to dangle in front of the Caps.
We shall see…
More to come…
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