Veteran defenseman Mike Green has made it official: he is off the market as he is staying with the Detroit Red Wings on a $10.75 million, two-year contract, according to several news sources.
The news first got out when a person with direct knowledge of the move told The Associated Press that the Red Wings agreed to terms with the 32-year-old blue liner on the new deal that counts $5.375 million against the salary cap each of the next two seasons. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Saturday because the deal had not been announced.
Green heard his name on several occasions throughout the season, especially as we got closer to the Trade deadline in February, however, a last-minute injury attacked his trade value and he remained with the team. It now seems that Green, who has spent the past three years with the Red Wings, will lead a younger blue line, he who finished the year with eight goals and 25 assists in 66 games last season. For his career, the 2004 first-rounder has 142 goals and 322 assists in 787 games.
He was considered one of the top pending free agent blue liners available after former Washington teammate John Carlson re-signed with the Capitals for $64 million over eight years. There was talks close to the trade deadline that Green could return to his former team, especially once captain Alex Ovechkin mentioned he would love to have him back. Green suffered a season-ending neck injury, which ended any chance of the Red Wings moving him at the trade deadline.
Some pundits were afraid that Green could be turned off by the fact that Detroit is entering a rebuilding mode, and might not be a contender for years to come. There are also several young defenseman prospects who could come and disrupt the lineup in Hockey Town, however, Green will be there to support them and lead the way.
The Red Wings are also said to be bringing in another veteran, in goalie Jonathan Bernier. Bernier will sign the contract in Detroit tomorrow, and it is expected to be a three-year deal with the team.
Green is taking a pay cut from his previous $6 million salary to stay with the Red Wings, but the former runner-up for the Norris Trophy gets some stability at the same time.