A few National Hockey League teams are talking big contracts and extensions right now, just a few weeks prior to the start of free agency season. On Tuesday, an NHL source confirmed with The Athletic that the Arizona Coyotes have a deal in place to keep Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the desert long-term. TSN’s Darren Dreger was the first to report that Ekman-Larsson is expected to sign an eight-year deal worth $8.25 million per season. And let's not forget Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, who just won a Stanley Cup, is expected to cash in this season, most likely staying with the champions for the rest of his career...
The free agency season has not started yet and big names are already planning to ink their names on new contracts. If Carlson sticks with the Caps, the next most coveted right-handed shot, big-game defenseman available would be Mike Green of the Detroit Red Wings. And we find out on Wednesday, it also seems too late for teams wanting to get him...
According to Craig Custance of The Athletic, the "Red Wings have made him both a one- and a two-year offer to stay in Detroit." Now Green faces a tough decision. While both camps are reportedly close on salary numbers, a source believes Green could get more years on another deal on the free-agent market.
“He might even get four,” said an NHL source.
It hasn't been an easy year for the veteran blue liner: Green suffered a season-ending neck injury, which ended any chance of the Red Wings moving him at the trade deadline. If ever it hurts his value this July, Green might consider signing with Detroit...
“I anticipate whether he signs with us or someone else, he’ll be on the ice for the first day of training camp,” Red Wings GM Ken Holland said. “Everything, I’m told, he should be green-lighted for the first day.”
However, Green might 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.
"I want to slowly get some of these young defensemen to work their way on the roster. At the same time, I think it’s important that we’re competitive," explained Holland at the NHL combine.
So, what will Green's decision be? Stay on the market and attempt to get a bigger and longer contract elsewhere or up his value with the Red Wings and perhaps be a trade chip next February?
Do we have a first coveted player off the market?