Mike Green Re-signs with Capitals
Big news out of DC today as the Washington Capitals have re-signed defensemen Mike Green, who was a restricted free agent, to a four year contract. Green led the NHL in goal scoring by defensemen last season and really blossomed under new Coach Bruce Boudreau. Boudreau’s system is an attacking, puck possession one in which Green’s superior skating and puck handling skills are magnified.
Terms of the deal were undisclosed but TSN reports that the average annual salary is $5.25M, which is about the range in which I expected Green to garner.
Today is the first day teams can sign unrestricted free agents. As you may or may not have heard the Tampa Bay Lightning seem to be making the most noise already by signing former Penguins forward Ryan Malone to a 7 year, $31.5M deal after Pittsburgh traded his rights to them for a draft choice over the weekend. Tampa also signed aging forward Gary Roberts and is trying to sign FA forward Brian Rolston of Minnesota. The Penguins have salary cap problems and may also lose unrestricted FA forward Marian Hossa.
The Green signing is great news for Caps fans and next on GM George McPhee’s list is goalie Cristobal Huet, the best FA goalie available and the guy who helped put the Caps into the playoffs last season.
Green, in a just completed conference call, didn’t think the contract situation would go down to the July 1 wire but he is happy to be back with the Caps and said that he wanted to be loyal to the organization. I asked #52 about his experience playing on the Canadian World Championship team this past spring and he said his role was to run the team’s power play. He also said he didn’t get too many even strength shifts. When asked about the prospect of playing on the 2010 Canadian Olympic team in Vancouver, something that many hockey experts have Mike penciled in for, Green said it would be an honor to be a member of that team but he still has to prove himself in the upcoming season. When asked about the recent Tampa Bay signings Green thought that Roberts and Malone would be tough guys to play against and help Tampa. Btw, his first purchase with his new money, for those wondering, is going to be a new car.
I’ll have more on the NHL and free agency signings over the next couple of days.