Former Capital Mike Green confirmed he is indeed retiring two weeks after a report surfaced from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir released a feature on Green Wednesday which explained why the former Young Gun was choosing to hang up his skates at age 34.
Green wants to spend more time with his family, help others in the community, and focus more on evolving passions.
“Being an athlete isn’t the only part of who I am,” Green said to El-Bashir. “I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle. I’ve been very fortunate to turn my passion into my profession, but at this point in my life, I’m considering other things that I feel called to do.”
“A lot of people are hurting,” he said, “and I want to help. I want to use my voice in a different way. I want to focus my energy differently, ground myself in the community, in family. But I also want to become a change agent for good.”
The long pause of the 2019-20 NHL season due to the coronavirus pandemic gave Green a new perspective in life. Green, who has missed lots of games over the last two seasons due to an infectious disease and other injuries, was one of a handful of NHL players who opted out of the NHL’s Return To Play before the start of the 2020 playoffs.
“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.”
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 11, 2020
Green and his wife Courtney have two young children, Axel who is four-years-old and Lula who was born in November. Mike and Courtney first met during their time in DC.
Green also spoke about his time in DC with El-Bashir and revealed had no bitterness at all that he missed out on the Capitals’ Stanley Cup championship in 2018.
“Pure joy,” Green said, reflecting on how he felt. “Such a long time waiting. Well-deserved. I was thrilled for them, all of them. Nobody more deserving than Ted Leonsis, management, and obviously, Ovi, Backy, Braden Holtby, John Carlson, Tom Wilson, all the guys that I played with.”
Wilson congratulated Green on the end of his career on Wednesday sharing a photo of the two at Don Tito in Arlington.
— Tom Wilson (@tom_wilso) August 26, 2020
Green finishes his NHL career as a two-time Norris Trophy finalist and one of the best defensemen in Capitals history. His best season came in 2008-09 when he electrified the NHL with 31 goals and 73 points in 68 games.
He owns two Capitals franchise records:
Green also scored this gigantic overtime goal in Game Two against the New York Rangers.
Green tallied 150 goals, 351 assists, and 501 points total in 880 NHL games. He was an NHL First All-Star twice (2009, 2010) and played in two NHL All-Star Games (2011, 2018).
He also had a unique connection with the DC community from his mohawks to his cameos at the 9:30 Club. Fans helped reunite him with his discontinued Easton Stealth CNT sticks through RMNB during his final season with the Capitals in 2015 – the same sticks he scored 31 goals with.
Congratulations on a great career, Mike!
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