Former Capital Mike Green was one of seven players who opted out of the 24-team playoff due to COVID-19 concerns on Friday and Saturday. Green, a two-time Norris Trophy finalist earlier in his career, was acquired by the Edmonton Oilers at the trade deadline from the Detroit Red Wings. The Oilers will play the Chicago Blackhawks in a best-of-five play-in series.
“Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and after much consideration, I’ve decided for deeply personal family health reasons, not to participate in the return to play,” Green said in a statement.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 11, 2020
“This has been a hard decision knowing I’m going to miss the opportunity to compete in the playoffs with a Stanley Cup contender,” Green added. “I wish the best of luck to the guys and I appreciate the Edmonton Oilers support.”
Green and his wife Courtney have two young children, Axel who is four-years-old and Lula who was born in November.
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During the 2018-19 season, Green missed substantial time while playing with the Red Wings due to an infectious disease that zapped him of energy.
“He’s got a virus that attacked his liver, so he’s seeing an infectious disease person today and we should know more here in the next little bit,” Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill said during the preseason. “I don’t know how long he’s going to be out. I don’t know the totality of it.”
The decision to opt-out from the 2020 playoffs must have been particularly difficult for Green, a Calgary native, who was playing for a Canadian NHL team for the first time in his career.
After being dealt by the Red Wings, Green only played two games for the Oilers before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12. The defenseman suffered a sprained MCL during a collision with fellow former Capital Chandler Stephenson.
“Obviously, I was excited getting an opportunity to play here and play some competitive hockey and going on a bit of a run here and being familiar with Alberta and Oil Country,” Green said. “It was an easy decision for me (to waive my no-trade clause).”
He added, “You watch them all year. They’ve played great hockey. A lot of guys are going. They’re getting great goaltending and that’s everything nowadays. For me, it’s a matter of seeing where I fit in here, getting to know the personalities, and the guys in the room as quick as possible and trying to make an impact.”
On Saturday, fellow former Capitals defenseman (and first-round pick) Karl Alzer informed the Canadiens he would not play in the playoffs as well.
The Montreal Canadiens have announced that defenseman Karl Alzner has informed the organization that he has made the decision to opt out of Phase 3 and 4 of the NHL's Return to Play Plan.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 12, 2020
Headline photo courtesy of @mikegreen25
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