There might not be a more polarizing figure to Caps fans than Mike Green. Some love him, some hate him. The question of whether or not to trade the 10th-year defenseman has been asked time after time over the past four seasons in Washington.
From 2008-2010, Green was the second-best player in the Capitals locker room.
He broke out on the scene in 2008, when he played 82 games (the only full season he has played in during his career) and scored 18 goals and recorded 38 assists.
The following season, scored a career-high 31 goals and assisted on 42 goals.
Oct 14, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer (20) celebrates with Capitals defenseman Mike Green (52) after scoring the game-tying goal against the San Jose Sharks in the third period at Verizon Center. The Sharks won 6-5 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The season after that, his goals dropped to 19, but he increased his assists by 15 to 57. It was easily his best year.
But after the 2009-10 year, it’s been downhill for Greenie.
Since the 2010-11 season, he’s played in just 227 games out of a possible 339 – including all 11 games this season. He played in a mere 35 games in the 2011-12 season and recorded just seven points.
He played in 70 games last season, the most since the 2009-10 season, but tallied only 38 points and had a +/- rating of -16, the worst of his career. In fact, since the 2009-10 season when he had a +/- rating of +39 (a career best), he has yet to play another season and earn a positive player rating in double-digits.
And this season, the Washington Capitals have given up four or more goals during their five-game losing streak.
Those stats right there make a solid case for Ted Leonsis and the front office to trade the two-time Norris Trophy runner-up.
But, I don’t think management should pull the trigger.
Greenie is third on the team in points this season with nine (three goals, six assists) and has a +/- rating of +3. His shooting percentage of .120 is the fifth highest on the team.
In only 11 games, Greenie is looking like the Mike Green of old. The one that helped the Washington Capitals win consecutive Southeast Division titles.
As Adam Gretz of CBS Sports pointed out before Tuesday night’s loss, Washington had attempted 62.5 percent (185 out of 296) of their shot attempts with Green on the ice. They had also outscored opponents 11-4. Off the ice, the Caps had been outscored 12-18. Again, this doesn’t include Tuesday night’s loss.
Clearly, the Washington Capitals have been a better team with a healthy Mike Green on the ice this year.
While some may knock him for being too much of an offensive-minded defenseman, would you rather have a defender who can get points on the board, and occasionally may get beat for trying, or a defender who gets beat because he is a sitting duck on defense?
Greenie is also only 29 years old and still has plenty of hockey left in him.
Just as I said that Capitals fans shouldn’t panic, they also shouldn’t give up on Mike Green yet. Neither should the front office.