August 18, 2020

Mike Green Retires

 Offensive defenseman Mike Green appears to be retiring from the National Hockey League.

Green was best known for being an offensive force with the fellow young guns Alexander Ovechkin, Alex Semin and Nicklas Backstrom with the Washington Capitals from 2005 through 2015. He moved on to play a more understated role with Detroit in recent years. He was traded to Edmonton at the traded deadline in 2020 and played just 2 games before the league shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon the League's return to play in the summer, Green opted not to return.

On the ice Green was absolutely spectacular for three seasons from 2007 through 2010. Twice in that span he was a Norris Trophy finalist. He put up unreal numbers, including a 31 goal/73 point season in 2008-09, which made him just the 8th defenseman in history to have a 30 goal season. He may have pushed 35 or even 40 goals that year if he did not miss 14 games due to an early season shoulder injury.

He was a power play fixture wherever he played. He possessed a wicked slap shot that nobody liked to get in the way of. Just ask Patrick Thoresen and his broken protective cup. During that magical 31 goal season he used that shot to set a NHL record for defensemen by scoring a goal in eight consecutive games. His wrist shot was also fantastic. He liked to sneak in from the point while on the power play.

The very next year he actually tallied more points with a 19 goal/76 point season. In both of those seasons he was a First Team All Star. 

He was a fantastic skater, fast smooth and balanced on his skates. He moved effortlessly in all directions, which was only amplified by his sharp instincts as to where the puck was going to go. He was bold and confident when rushing the puck, knowing how to change the pace just perfectly. 

Defensively he was a bit of an adventure. He was average sized and prone to larger opponents. In his own zone he could try to do much. He'd be guilty of impatiently trying to force plays rather than just learning to recognize that the safe, off-the-glass-and-out play is often the best play to make. Like all young defensemen, he learned this as his career lengthened.

Off the ice he was a character, known for his faux-hawk hair cuts and his fun loving ways that very much endeared him to the Washington Capitals fans. 

In 880 career games Green scored 150 goals, 351 assists for 501 points. That included 213 points on the power play.

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