15-year veteran defenseman Mike Green has been out since a 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Jan. 20.
Knowledge is power, said Sir Francis Bacon back in 1597.
Anyways, while Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green is a whopping -42 plus/minus in his past three seasons for the team according to HockeyReference.com, it’s more beneficial to have him on the ice than not.
In the midst of the Gustav Lindstrom call-up Thursday ahead the 4-3 shootout victory against the Buffalo Sabres, it’d be nice to have a 15-year veteran on the ice and bench moving forward, playing a mentor role to the team’s younger defensemen. Especially a newcomer like Lindstrom.
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And rightfully so, if you’re hoping for short-term success for a team building toward the future…but why would you want any of that? Outside of “hope.”
Zadina, and certainly Mantha, will stuff the stat sheet once returning as regulars to a depleted lineup that’s putting up historically atrocious offensive numbers according to a recent Yahoo! Sports article written by Arin Srinivasan, but they’re not the most important Red Wings players the team needs to return.
They’re going to come back and should continue to be instrumental in leading Detroit back to championship contention. What’s not a given is the return of Green – a 34-year-old injury-riddled defenseman – next season. He certainly shouldn’t be brought back, well, at least not anywhere near the $5.375M cap hit.
That’s why it’s even more important for him to get back on the ice this season and provide a full-on brain dump to guys like Lindstrom, Filip Hronek and Madison Bowey while he’s wearing a Red Wings uniform. That return should happen Sunday against the Boston Bruins, according to DetroitRedWings.com.
It’s a role he’s relished in the past, too. According to a 2018 article written by MLive’s Ansar Khan (and referenced to shortly after by us at Octopus Thrower, of course), Green said:
“I think it’s easy at times to go somewhere else, especially with the transition that’s going on in Detroit, but I feel I can be useful in the next couple of years to help the younger guys develop quicker and speed up that process.”
“I love it in Detroit. I love the organization, I love the culture, I love the guys. I think it’s easy at times to go somewhere else, especially with the transition that’s going on in Detroit, but I feel I can be useful in the next couple of years to help the younger guys develop quicker and speed up that process.”
Mantha and Zadina should be fixtures to the lineup for years to come, but Green is the player this team needs back most. He might not physically be able to score 31 goals like he did during the 2008-09 season with the Washington Capitals, but he didn’t forget how.
That knowledge is power.