Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has an excellent podcast that he hosts with Jeff Marek, entitled 31 Thoughts. Friedman does this on top of his reporting for Hockey Night In Canada and his must-read 31 Thoughts articles online.
In the latest episode of his podcast, Friedman and Marek did a post mortem on teams that lost in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, including the Edmonton Oilers.
While analyzing the Oilers’ defense, Friedman made a surprising revelation about former Capital Mike Green. Green, 34, “is retiring,” Friedman said at the 1:04:30 mark.
Thursday night, I reached out to Friedman to confirm because this is big news amongst Capitals fans. Green was one of the team’s original Young Guns alongside Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom, and a two-time Norris Trophy finalist. The Canadian rearguard also had one of the greatest seasons ever for a Capitals defenseman in 2008-09 (31g, 42a, 73pts).
From his mohawks to his cameos at the 9:30 Club, Green was beloved by Capitals fans. They even helped reunite him with his discontinued Easton Stealth CNT sticks through RMNB.
“I think it is possible,” Friedman said about a Green retirement. “There are some rumors about that. When he opted out, it was mentioned to me as a possibility.”
Later that night, I reached out to Mike directly about the report, asking if he wanted to deny it. He did not respond prior to publication. He is an unrestricted free agent this fall.
Green was one of a handful of players that chose to opt-out before the start of the 2020 playoffs.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 11, 2020
“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. “This has been a hard decision knowing I’m going to miss the opportunity to compete in the playoffs with a Stanley Cup contender. 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.”
If this is indeed the end for Mike, he will end his career with 150 goals, 351 assists, and 501 points in 880 games. He was an NHL First All-Star twice (2009, 2010) and played in two NHL All-Star Games (2011, 2018). And he was a character.
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