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:
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.
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