No two ways about it, the Detroit Red Wings are in trouble. With arguably one of the weakest rosters in the NHL, the team still somehow manages to boast the biggest biggest payroll in the league. With the team currently sitting roughly $3 million over the salary cap and with RFA Andreas Athanasiou still unsigned, GM Ken Holland has to do something… and quick.
In his latest article for Wings Nation, blogger Nick Seguin makes the case for the team to ship out veteran defenseman Mike Green in a trade to help relieve some salary cap pressure. Green is due $6 million this upcoming season which is a clear overpayment for his 14 goals and 36 points from a season ago, but the 31-year old veteran still holds some value across the league. Offensive-minded, right-shot defensemen will always hold value on the NHL trade market, so why not strike now argues Seguin.
So, why not flip him at the deadline? Well again, aside from the salary cap penalties facing the team, Seguin argues there are other reasons for the Wings to pull the trigger sooner rather than later.
Waiting until the deadline to trade him is a risky move on several fronts, though. First, he might get injured, which would make him untradeable. At 31-years-old, Green has put his body through many years of professional hockey. Things like ankles, knees, and backs start to weaken and tire as the years of intense physical labour catch up to them. And it’s not like Green has a completely clean history of injury.
Finally, parting ways with a perennial 35+ point, veteran player might finally signal the beginning of a rebuild in Detroit. Die hard Wings fans have been calling for Holland to make sweeping changes in recent years, does Green finally present him with the opportunity to do so?