The speculation had frothed since the season ended, wondering whether Mike Green would remain part of his team’s plans, no louder than after the Capitals left free agency with $69 million committed to two new defensemen. Green’s status, as an unrestricted free agent next summer with a hefty $6,083,333 cap hit (and a limited no-trade clause), could provide enticing trade bait. But General Manager Brian MacLellan continued to back the 28-year-old, as he has done since arriving on the job one month ago. “He’s a good player,” MacLellan said. “He had a little bit of struggles with injuries last year. He had an okay year. But we’re hoping to get him back on track, yes.” Improving upon Green’s inconsistent season of high possession numbers (51.7 percent Corsi-for, tops on the team) and low on-ice goal differentials (minus-10 in five-on-five situations, with a 44.8 percent goals-for rate) will be among Coach Barry Trotz’s top priorities, especially if the Capitals are bullish about the puck-moving Green coexisting alongside their new additions. “I think Mike, his resume speaks for itself in terms of what he can do,” said assistant coach Todd Reirden, who will work with the defensemen. “Offensively I’ve seen it first-hand on the opposite bench, his ability on the power play and at even-strength to be able to add offensively, he’s an extremely talented player.” Reached by telephone Tuesday, Green’s agent said he recently spoke with Green and received no indication his client was anything but pleased with the signings of Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik.
After free agency splash, Capitals hope to help get Mike Green ‘back on track’
Washington Post | Jul 3