If you had been following the trade bait boards and speculations in the last - let's say - 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.
Good thing fans were not holding their breaths, because since the end of Monday's deadline, Green is still a member of the Red Wings. Now the question turns to - what went wrong?
Green was the club's biggest trade chip for most this season, and when Detroit fell further out of playoff contention, it appeared certain the veteran defenseman would be moved. But it all fell through, and on Monday evening, Wings general manager Ken Holland had to reveal why.
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."
While Leafs fans thought their team was losing out on the opportunity to acquire a stud offensive-minded defenseman, one who could serve as a quarterback for their power-play unit during the remains of the regular season as well as for the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup playoffs, we now know Green was always staying put.
The Wings could always offer him a contract extension in the summer, or Green could test the free agency on July 1st.