WWYDW: Greener Pastures?

Because it’s never too early for wild speculation, let’s talk about whether the Flames should throw $ at Mike Green this summer! What Would You Do Wednesday Returns!

Let’s take our mind off of the absolutely terrifying, wonderful, horrible experience that is every moment of this stretch drive for some much needed spit-balling. The Flames are in the thick of a playoff race at the moment but let’s take a peek into the bleak summer months and start to think about a player that the Flames could look at pursuing once free-agency begins in July. 

It is no secret that the Flames aren’t exactly swimming in defensive depth at the moment and are currently winning games with a defensive corps held together with bubble gum and good intentions. This summer it’s going to be a pretty weak crop of UFAs, especially on defence, with Mike Green likely being the best (and consequently most expensive) option available.

Which brings me to this week’s question, do you think Mike Green would be worth pursuing for the Flames and if so, at what price? This question was raised a couple months back in a mailbag article written by Christian:

Mike Green

First, let’s talk numbers. Green is turning 30 this year and has played a full 82 games exactly one time in his 10-year career, that being in 2007-08 when he scored 18 goals, 56 points, and averaged 23:38/game as a 23 year-old. 

The next season, Green led all defenders in points and scored an insane 31 goals en route to his first of two-consecutive Norris nominations. 2008-2010 represent Green’s high watermark in terms of offensive production and over the course of those two seasons, he scored 50 goals in 143 games and averaged 1.04 ppg over that stretch. Even though we all hate this stat, Green was also a plus 63 over those two seasons. Really remarkable stuff.  

Since then, things haven’t been going so well for the Calgary native. Plagued by injury, Green has only reached double-digits in goals once since 2009-10, despite playing more than 65 games in each of his last two seasons. 

This year, Green is averaging 19:09/TOI per game, which is good enough for 123rd best in the NHL or roughly the same as John-Michael Liles. That’s not great. However, his possession numbers have somewhat stabilized after a few hellish seasons though Green continues to be a very sheltered player. 

mgstats

check out the rest of his numbers here from hockeyanalysis

For a Flames context, this season Green has started in the defensive zone roughly 33% less than Dennis Wideman, whom I wouldn’t exactly consider to be the paragon of shutdown defence. I’m pretty sure we all know exactly what Mike Green is and the real question becomes, is he a good fit and how much should the Flames pay him?

Green’s last contract is paying him an average of 6.08 million per season, roughly 14% less than Wideman currently makes (and Wideman has two more years on his deal, the last of which pays him 6mil). 

The reason I keep bringing up Dennis Wideman is because I can’t shake the feeling that Green is just a slightly younger (2 years) Dennis Wideman with some seriously hard miles on his frame. Both are right-hand shots and useful in powerplay situations but cannot be trusted in their own zones for the most part. 

Green is going to fetch a lot of coin and, even though the Flames are in need of dmen to take the load off of Brodano next year, I don’t think Green is even worth the chase, discount or not. The money is better spent elsewhere or perhaps even better not spent at all if it means securing a soft-minutes boat anchor for the foreseeable future. 

But what do I know! This is where I turn things over to you Flames nation, let me know what you think a fair price is for Green and whether or not you think he’s worth chasing 

  • RedMan

    He will not sign in Calgary for a fair price. I don’t think there are going to be too many shortcuts on this rebuild. As much as I hate to put this out there but there is an impatient owner in Philly who wants to win now and would probably overpay for a Norris trophy candidate. They have a high first round pick and intriguing prospects.

      • JumpJet

        I am. But, I’m referring to an overpay possibility by an owner who admits he wants to win now. They have a high first round pick, a world junior defender and possibly a good right winger. Would the prospects of getting those guys be worth considering?

        • DoubleDIon

          I think their WJC defender is extremely overrated. The Kubel is definitely intriguing and that pick MIGHT be good enough to get Provorov who I absolutely love.

          Moving Giordano scares me though.

          • DoubleDIon

            I’m absolutely in love with Provorov. I’d take him ahead of Hanifin. I’d take Werenski and Strome ahead of Hanifin too. I just think Provorov will probably be gone before the Flyers pick. I see it going down like this:

            1. McDavid
            2. Eichel
            3. Strome (assuming AZ picks 3)
            4. Provorov
            5. Hanifin
            6. Marner
            7. Werenski

            I like Werenski, but I don’t move Giordano for him and a smallish QMJHL RWer that’s scoring in Junior.

          • everton fc

            Take a look at Ryan Pilon’s #’s vs. Provorov this season. Granted, Pilon played 8 more games, and no, Pilon is not Provorov. But Pilon is good. Big. Physical. I say, if you can’t get Provorov, you take Pilon.

            And I still say we sign Eric Roy. He’s worth a punt.

          • DoubleDIon

            I like Pilon a lot too. Just not as much as Provorov. I’ve seen enough of Roy now to comfortably pass on him. He was awesome as a 16 year old but hasn’t shown any development. It’s why we got him so late.

        • DoubleDIon

          Abso-frikkinlooootly! I love Giordano, especially with Brodie, and what he brings on the ice day-in, day-out plus his leadership. But if Philly wants to drop a 1st and a prospect or two i say we take it. We are, after all rebuilding and assets for AN asset is usually a good deal. Plus if you look at how the team has responded in Gio’s absence, the decision only gets easier. The team-first attitude of the players has everyone stepping up. Losing Gio next year would not cause a big step back, IMO, especially if we can bring in a Tspoon or another prospective top-four guy. If the Flames can win with Brodie/ Engelland (or Schlemko, or Diaz) and Russel/Wideman as the #2 pair, then I say take the deal and run! Gio ain’t getting any younger and we all remember the pain of letting J.I. go too late.

    • DoubleDIon

      Franson and Sekera are both going to get paid and get term. Michalek is interesting to me as well. I just don’t want to throw 5X5 at either of the first 2 guys unless we have a taker for Wideman. They are too similar to him.

    • Parallex

      This^^

      That’s no slight on Green, I just like Franson and Sekera more… particularily Franson who I think the Flames should take a hard run at.

      Ultimately I don’t think Green offers much of an improvement on Wideman and in order for a free agent pick-up to be worth it whomever it is has to be better then one of our current middle pairing guys so that we can bump that guy down and improve both pairings.

      So pass on Green.

  • DoubleDIon

    I think we need another Russell, not another Wideman. The comparison is a good one IMO. I’d target a guy like Beauchemin, Bartkowski, Meszaros on a short term 1-2 year deal.

    That or Michalek, Martin or Erhoff on a 3 year deal.

    There are a few interesting RFA options out there that might be available. Postma, Sustr, Dillon, Petrovic, Marincin and Rundblad are all guys I’d check in on as I think they’re undervalued by their organizations.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    No thanks. Wideman comparison is spot on. Although I do think Green could be rejuvenated offensively playing the Flames system (similar to how Wideman has been)

    If we didn’t already have Wideman I would at least consider it.

    I would like to see the Flames go after a young RFA due for a big raise on a cap strapped tea (via trade – not offer sheet)

    • DoubleDIon

      That’s it exactly. If we didn’t have Wideman I could be convinced that Sekera, Franson or Green would be a good pick-up. But we do. If we can turn Wideman into assets I’d be game to pick up one of those 3 guys, but the Wideman thing would need to happen first.

  • scoopz

    “Peek,” not “Peak.”

    As in: “Let’s take a peek at Mike Green’s stats… It looks like Mike Green’s Peak production was from 2008-2010.”

    I’m not judging you; it’s just that i’ve seen this mistake at least five times today and I finally had to say something.

    Thank you for the article. It was very informative.

  • Nick24

    I was thinking the same thing as was stated in the article: Green is simply Dennis Wideman version 2.0. I don’t think we need another player like Wideman. Our roster would be much improved if we found someone who could add some competence to our third paring, or even a 2nd pairing player who could move Wideman down.

  • PrairieStew

    The only way you sign Green is if you trade Wideman. There might be some wisdom in doing that mind you, selling high on an asset that is unlikely to repeat his excellent season. Green is not coming for a third pairing price, so he’d have to be on the second pair, where Wideman currently is.

    This team has an elite first pair of dmen, a first line, and a third line (Backlund- Bouma -Jones) that are good enough to be contenders. What is needed is an upgrade to the second and third pair plus an upgrade to the second line.If you can move Wideman and a semi-redundant forward or two ( Colborne, Byron, Raymond, Bollig, Granlund) for a high quality forward, and get Green to sign – then you have improved your team.

  • Greg

    I actually think there’s a fairly good crop of Dmen in the UFA pool this year, at least compared to other years, and certainly relative to what’s out there of “offensive” help… 2 40 year olds and not much else, Yeesh. Good thing were ok at forward! 🙂

    The other thing we have going for us is that a lot of teams are in cap-jail and can’t match what we can offer cash wise. That could keep the prices a lot lower than they’ve been as well.

    Franson is the guy I’d covet the most, but I’m not sure he’d fit well with the flames speed. As much as I think Green is well past his prime, there’s a part of me that thinks he’s a better fit here and might even be rejuvenated in Hartley’s system.

    Flames definitely need to add someone on the backend though, you cannot go I to next season with the same blue line depth and hope to catch lightning in a bottle twice. Preferably, target a trade with a team that can’t fit a young dman into their cap space (I’m looking at you D. Hamilton), but if that can’t be done, settle for a good vet or two to hold the fort until you can develop your own.

    And in that vein, stop frigging spending high picks on goalies and mountains and start drafting the heck out of D prospects. You only get a few more years where you can plug holes with older UFAs before Gio will wear down. The whole rebuild could fall apart then if we don’t have some young D ready to step in by then.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Mike Green is not as good as Dennis Wideman.

    They are similar players offensively, but at least Wideman is big, and can effectively fight, clear the crease, and lay some thundering hip checks if that’s what the coach wants in a game.

    He has a strong physical component that Green lacks.

    I’d take Green on a lot of teams, he’s good at what he does. And the Flames do indeed have a fairly shallow blue-line.

    But I just don’t think there’s a fit. Unless Green is willing to take a downright insultingly cheap contract.

    • Peplinski's Thunderbird

      I agree.. I think Wideman has an underrated physical game. He’s not super imposing, but can lay the body pretty well when need be.
      IMO, Green isn’t nearly the best option as a 3rd pairing dman mostly due to his price point. Although after watching Wideman play effectively in Gio’s absence, I would be intrigued by the idea of splitting up Brodano and having Gio/Wideman as the top pair and Brodie/Green the second.

  • Reidja

    We need to upgrade our D depth. Green may not be the best option but he’s an option. Unfortunately he seems to be overrated so a fair price is unlikely. I’d take him for 4 years at 3.75 per.

  • The Last Big Bear

    When Wideman is “on”, he is a 1st pairing defenseman. That’s why he’s getting $5m+ with a NTC, and why he can drop 40 points in a season like its nothing. He has the offense, he has the defence, he has the poise, the production, and the physicality.

    When he is “off”, he’s a soft-minutes-only defensive liability. He can play so poorly defensively that he gets dropped to the 3rd pairing on a team like the late-2000’s Washington Capitals, where ‘defend’ was practically a dirty word.

    He’s a streaky player.

    I’d be perfectly happy giving him 20+ minutes when he’s playing well, just as comfortably as I’d give him 11 minutes when he’s not on his game.

    Another thing ill say in his favor, though, is that he responds very well to more ice time. The more he plays, the better he settles in. IIRC correctly after the brew-up in Vancouver last season, he logged something like 35 minutes, and looked great doing it. Some players flourish with more ice time, and I think Wideman is one of them.

  • Koolmoedee

    There were rumours about Green around the trade deadline. He said he has no interest in leaving Washington and intends to resign there.

    Lots of things can change between then and July, but I highly doubt we’ll see him in a Flames uniform.