If you had been following the trade bait boards and speculations in the last months, you expected the Detroit Red Wings to trade veteran defenseman, and pending free agent, Mike Green before the end of Monday's trade deadline. It was the type of move that was written all over the place, just a final destination to be chosen and the 32-year-old was on his way out.
You know how it ended up, on Monday night, Green was still a member of the Red Wings, and Wings general manager Ken Holland had to reveal why his biggest trade chip had not been moved. Back on Feb. 15, Green suffered a neck injury following a hit from Tampa Bay Lightning's Adam Erne, and has not been able to play since. His trade value crashed, even if the Wings had extensive negotiations with the Lightning, who finally acquired defenseman Ryan McDonagh from the New York Rangers. The Washington Capitals, Green's former team, also was interested in landing him.
"One team requested his medical reports," Holland told MLive.com. "Another team was very interested over the last four or five days, but Mike hasn't been able to play. The injury is something that could resurface again.
"He's getting better, there's a chance he could be in our lineup this weekend. Hopefully he continues to practice and doesn't have any flare-ups, but ultimately, it's hard for a team to add a player they weren't 100 percent sure was going to come back, and if he did come back that maybe the injury would flare-up again. That had everything to do with Mike Green remaining a Red Wing."
Before the end of Monday's trade deadline, it had been reported that Green had agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to Tampa Bay or Washington. Holland also explained that Green did not block a deal with any team. Yesterday, according to a breaking news report from TSN producer Jeremy Collins, Green had refused to waive his no-trade clause for a trade that would send him to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"He was open to being traded. He would have loved to have the opportunity to go to a team that had a real chance to win the Stanley Cup," Holland said. "Two teams wanted to know specifically what was going on with his injury and that had a real bearing on their decision. I think between the defensemen possibly available and the uncertainly of the injury, it all impacted it."
For the past months, Holland has been focused on the future, and at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, the Wings hold 11 draft picks. Amongst the 11 picks they managed to put in their pockets with different transactions, six of them will be selected between the first and third rounds. This is the second year in a row the Wings could pick six times in the first three rounds. Detroit acquired the Vegas Golden Knights' first-rounder in the Tomas Tatar deal. As the Wings are expected to keep their picks, they will select twice in the opening round of the draft for the first time since the 1978 amateur draft.
Which all points out to a rebuilding mode. But wait a minute, now Green and Wings management are open to sign him back to an extension. Really? According to Ashar Khan of MLive.com, the Red Wings have told Green they're interested in re-signing him after the season.
"The situation's been a little strange, but we had discussions and I hope we'll have more discussions," Green commented.
"We'll see how things kind of take place over the next six months. I'm just focused on getting back on the ice and in games and playing hockey."
A little strange? Yeah, we pretty much think this is a surprising twist following the failed trade attempt. Let's see how this all turns out closer to the draft...