Thursday afternoon, CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley reported that Mike Green will be leaving the Washington Capitals as a free agent this summer. Most of us were wrecked by the news even though it’s been expected for weeks. Green, one of the franchise’s best defensemen, leaves behind a legacy of Awesome that may never be repeated in Washington.
Let’s revisit that legacy now in this video created by our very own Amanda Bowen.
Nicknamed Game Over for his penchant of scoring clutch goals, Green was nominated for two Norris trophies during his 10 seasons in Washington. In 2008-09 he scored 31 goals. Green holds the NHL record for the longest consecutive goal-scoring streak by a defenseman. He even played in one All-Star Game.
But you and I both know that’s not what made Green special and so beloved. It was his flair on and off the ice that we’ll never forget. From his vespa to his hand tattoos, Green was an artist in every aspect of his life.
As a hockey player (and forgive me for the bad metaphor), the ice was Green’s canvas and his stick– most likely an Easton Stealth CNT donated by his fans— was his brush. Greenie danced and deked around opposing players as if he were playing at a faster speed than everyone else. His success has helped redefine what a successful defensemen is: someone who can move the puck quickly and efficiently out of the defensive zone and create more shots for his own team.
Away from the rink, Green married photographer Courtney Parrie in a dream wedding that included a chandelier hanging from a frigging tree. Green sold t-shirts to fans (that were of better quality than anything we’ve ever made). He’s built custom motorcycles during the offseason.
He had style. Green changed his look every year like he was in the Beatles. Michael Latta described it best during the playoffs: “[Green’s] hair always looks perfect.” One season Green’s clean shaven, another he has a long beard. He’s had mohawks and he’s had long hair. He’s worn fancy suits and tank tops. Some younger Caps have credited Green for influencing their own wardrobe.
Green did what every good artist does: he elicited strong feelings from everyone who saw his work, good or bad. He was the number-one defenseman on the franchise’s best team during its best years. Some of my favorite moments as a Capitals fan feature him.
It’s just a shame he never won a Stanley Cup here.
But if the Capitals had 17 other skaters like him, they probably would have.
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