Greene Still a Quiet Leader for Devils

Following the New Jersey Devils preseason home opener against the Philadelphia Flyers, The Hockey Writers spoke with Andy Greene – who enters his second season as captain for New Jersey – about a myriad of topics as the new season inches closer. Greene may take on a more offensive role – which he is capable of, and has done in the past with the Devils – while still remaining their top blueliner.

Perhaps being paired with Greene on a nightly basis could assist in the development of players like Jon Merrill (24-years old), Damon Severson (22) or Steven Santini (21), like it did for the development of the recently departed Adam Larsson (see: Hall, Taylor). While Larsson may not have the respect around the league just yet, he is just entering the prime of his career and will likely start putting up more points with the young gun Edmonton Oilers.

Steven Santini could fill a void left by Larsson's departure. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
Steven Santini could fill a void left by Larsson’s departure. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

On shaking off the cobwebs in the first preseason game:

It felt good to get back out there and obviously we were sloppy at times. Even though it was the first game, that’s too many penalties (eight), but we did a lot of good things in the first. They obviously had a young team out there, but at this time of year – during the preseason – you have to focus on your own game and who cares who’s out there. A lot of positives and we’ll continue to build off this throughout camp.

– Andy Greene

On making the new players feel at ease:

I wouldn’t say I go out of my way, but I just try to make sure everyone is feeling good about themselves. Make sure that they know we need them and we’re happy that they’re here. We have to push each other and make sure each other gets better.

– Andy Greene

On if he previously knew any of the new acquisitions:

Off the top of my head, no, but I know a lot of them from playing against them throughout the years on a strictly hockey level. A lot of us have mutual friends that we talk to about and they’ve all said great things. I’m looking forward to getting to know them and becoming teammates.

– Andy Greene

On being a mentor, friend, and teammate to Adam Larsson:

It’s tough coming in this league as an 18, 19-year-old defenseman and I think and know he continued to get better each year. I still believe he is going to continue to get better, I don’t think he’s at his peak yet. He’s a terrific guy, a terrific player, and a great friend. I’ll miss him, but wish him well. Obviously, we have Hallsy (Taylor Hall) there in return and I’m really looking forward to seeing him in action and playing well.

– Andy Greene

On if he and Larsson had spoken since NHL training camps started:

We’ve spoken here and there. Obviously right when it happened he was over in Sweden and I shot him a text then. We’ve talked a little bit since these camps started, just to see how he’s doing and hopefully, he continues to be well.

– Andy Greene