Yesterday, the Washington Capitals re-signed defenseman Mike Green to a three-year contract worth $18.25 million. That comes out to be a little over six million dollars a year for a player who has been plagued with injuries the past two seasons.
Don’t get me wrong I am a a fan of Green’s poise, puck handling and the points he put up a couple of seasons ago, but I am not a fan of his price tag. Leave it up to general manager George McPhee to overpay another defenseman player; Nicklas Backstrom happily sits on his $6.7 million a year contract.
Over the past two seasons Green has played a combined 81 games, in the regular season, out of a possible 164. Basically, he missed an entire season due to injuries. The only upside to Green is that when the guy is healthy he can wrack up the points; registering 19 goals and 76 points in 2009. That’s why Washington felt compelled to keep him around; on the hope that the 26-year-old defenseman is young enough to stay healthy and remain a defensive force.
In retrospect, ultimately, Green got a raise. How is that possible? What are McPhee’s justifications?
Giving a player a raise after spending more than half of the last two season on the bench is crazy talk. Leave it up to another general manager to take a huge gamble that can cost him millions. But that’s what sports is about. Taking gambles based on a hunch.
If Green can be a threat again like he was in 2009 where he scored 31 goals, had 38 points on the power play and was a +24 for the season, I will be the first to kiss the ground that George McPhee walks on. I think for the sake of everyone in this situation, we are all praying that Green can re-establish himself as one of the league’s top offensive defensemen.
Green does have young age and skill, shown in the past, on his side. On whether or not he can put up another stellar season Green said,
“One hundred percent and it will be next year. Absolutely, there’s no question about it. I feel like I’m just getting into my prime.”
Let’s just be realistic and shoot for a healthy Green first. Then, the points should follow. It’s a gamble, I believe will have a huge payoff in the end.