For ten seasons Mike Green played his heart out for the Washington Capitals as one of the best defenseman in franchise history (fifth all-time among Caps blue liners). He is one of two active defenders that has put up a 70-point season (Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson is the other) and Green did it twice – in back-to-back seasons. While he tore it up in his twenties for Washington, the now 30-year-old Green is looking to bring that same firepower (360 points) to the Detroit Red Wings, whom he signed a three-year deal with this past July 1. But it still looks weird, even in the title of this article, to see his name next to the Red Wings.
As he explained to The Hockey Writers following Detroit’s 1-0 win in New Jersey, he’s still finding his way/trying to fit in with his new squad, but it seemed like a good match in July and there’s no reason to think that he won’t be a presence for the Wings as we enter the second half of the 2015-16 season. We also found out what it was like to lay his old mates three times already and how much fun it is to be around in the presence of the Red Wings alumni.
— NHL (@NHL) December 8, 2015
The Hockey Writers: How big is this win on the road, the second in a row with four more in a row upcoming away from Detroit?
Mike Green: It was a good game. I can’t remember the last time I was in a game that was a 1-0 final, especially with a goal in the first (period). But I think our guys played solid, our first and third periods we played really well. In the second we kind of sat back on our heels and it was a good thing that we were able to regroup in the third period.
THW: What’s this season been like for you, your first with Detroit after ten seasons with Washington?
MG: It’s been good. It’s definitely been an adjustment but it’s gone really well. It’s taken me a little while to figure out my game within the team, but everything from the guys, to practice and coming to the rink has been nothing but fun. It’s been a good change for me.
We did not confirm if Mike Green has found a teammate in Detroit who has tried to decapitate him yet:
THW: After so much time there, you must still keep in contact with the guys back in DC right?
MG: Yeah, I talk to a few of them once in a while. I’ve obviously developed some really good friendships over the ten years that I was there; those guys, we’ll always be close.
THW: How weird was it for you to play against all of them three times already this season?
MG: It was (laughs); you know, I didn’t know what to expect. The first two games we played in Detroit, so I was pretty comfortable. When we were in DC, the whole day was just strange — being at the hotel, going to the visitors room; I’d never been in there. I was really honored with the little video they did (for me) and that meant a lot to me.
Here’s the video the Caps showed in the arena on the night of Mike Green’s return to Washington:
THW: The Red Wings franchise has a lot of legendary players that hang around the team pretty often; what’s it been like for you to experience that? You must feel like a kid again.
MG: It’s been really cool. Just to even see those guys; they have such a presence – obviously guys that built the team into what it is today. I think that that mentality and that leadership has trickled down over the years and it’s good to see them around, that’s for sure.
Dan Rice can be reached via Twitter: @DRdiabloTHW or via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Rice is in his 9th year of reporting for THW & has covered NJ Devils home games for 15+ years at various websites. He began his journey working for legendary broadcaster/writer Stan Fischler from 2002-04 & completed an internship at the ECHL; he also has been writing features for the NWHL (nwhl.zone) website since 2016.