The Washington Capitals have signed restricted free agent Mike Green to a three-year, $18.25 million dollar contract. The questions for Capitals fans though, is the signing good for the team?
Many fans remember Green’s breakout season in 2008-2009 where he accumulated 31 goals and 42 assist for 73 points in 68 games played. The season before with 56 points was also respectable, but the season after Green astonished fans again by accumulating 76 points in 75 games, a combination of 19 goals and 57 assists. But as of late, the the last two seasons late, Green has combined for only 31 points in those two seasons.
Green, at only 26 years old, has had an injury plagued career. Entering the league in 2005-2006, his first two years were typical for a young defenseman; young and healthy. However, since the 2008-2009 season, Green has had a shoulder injury, head injury and a groin injury that has accumulated for nearly 100 games over 4 seasons. Last season alone, Green played in only 32 games.
The Capitals and Mike Green were working on a deal in the off-season, where the Capitals offered a reportedly 1-year, $3.5 million base contract and bonuses bringing him up to a $5.25 million dollar contract. He declined the offer and the two sides have come to an agreement on a 3-year, $18.25 million dollar contract.
Green’s monster contract has now put him in the top 15 of largest cap hits for defenseman (per Capgeek.com). To put this into perspective, Green’s cap hit is larger than other top 25 defenseman per cap hit: Duncan Keith (74 GP, 40 P), Tyler Myers (55 GP, 23 P), Keith Yandle (82 GP, 43 P), Dustin Byfuglien (66 GP, 53 P) and Paul Martin (73 GP, 27 P).
When healthy, Green is a premier defenseman, eating up a lot of minutes and putting up a lot of points. However, Green has not been healthy for a few seasons now, plagued by not only one injury, but multiple injuries. Capitals’ fans should worry that their team has put a lot at stake in a player that has not been able to be their for them when they need him. Time will tell if the gamble pays off for the Capitals, but taking his career into account, Capital fans may be disappointed.
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