Photo: Geoff Burke
If there’s one person who truly is an insider of the NHL, it’s TSN’s Bob McKenzie. While speaking on Montreal’s TSN 690 Monday, McKenzie spoke about the future of Capitals defenseman Mike Green. He believes the UFA will dealt by GM Brian MacLellan before the NHL’s trade deadline March 2nd.
“The Habs talking to Washington about Mike Green, I don’t specifically have knowledge that the Habs have done that. I do believe that Mike Green is going to get traded by the deadline.
“I think the financial situation – he’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Washington has committed a lot of minutes and money to Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen, who they got in free agency last summer. John Carlson and Karl Alzner are also – that’s their top 4.
“Mike Green is effectively – as talented as he is, especially on the power play – he’s effectively become a third-pair defenceman. And that’s to take nothing away, because there are some nights where he still does put up some pretty big minutes, including power play time.
“But I don’t think they’re going to sign him. And I think they think that probably need to get something for him before he walks off to free agency in the summer. So that’s why his name is going to crop up a lot in trade rumours.
“And I guess the Canadiens are as good a candidate as anybody. We’ve seen from Marc Bergevin that for the most part he favours puck-moving defencemen with offensive ability. Although some people might think a player like Mike Green duplicates a lot of what he’s got with P.K. Subban, especially on the power play.
“So as I say, I don’t have any specific knowledge that Montreal has inquired on Mike Green, but I guess I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case because of the dynamic of Green likely being available.”
Last month, Green told CSN’s Chuck Gormley that he’d like to return and his “heart and soul is here in Washington.”
Speaking with Mike Vogel last month, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan rejected the idea of trading an impending UFA like Green unless it made the team better now. “What message does that send to the team if you’re sending Mike Green away for a prospect and a pick heading into the playoffs?” MacLellan continued, “I’m not going to do that. I want to win. He’s a part of our team. It’s a luxury to have him as a fifth defenseman who can move up and who is a first power play guy.”
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