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Washington Capitals: Why Mike Green Is Not Worth Re-Signing Next Season

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28:  Mike Green #52 of the Washington Capitals watches the game against the Washington Capitals from the bench at the Verizon Center on February 28, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
David SachsContributor IIMarch 21, 2012

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

If Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee re-signs Mike Green this summer, Caps fans might wonder if he’s better suited for Dan Snyder’s front office at Redskins Park than Verizon Center.

The once potent 26-year-old Green is a restricted free agent at season’s end. That means GMGM must offer him at least $5 million a year or let him test the ice elsewhere.

Green has had some stellar seasons with the Caps, but it’s time for him to go. And despite his memorable Norris Trophy-worthy seasons, he won’t be missed. It’s not like he’s around that much anyway: Because of injuries, Green hasn’t even played one season’s worth of hockey in the last two years—just 72 games.

When he finally returned from his second injury this season, he played 10 games before a foolish mental mistake got him suspended three games. This time it was a headshot to Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Brett Connolly that hurt Green’s ice time—and his team.

(Green was also suspended in 2010 for headhunting but did it again anyway. What was that definition for insanity again?)

A player with so much physical and mental uncertainty isn’t worth the money. Not to mention the Caps have a well of depth behind the blue line.

Dmitry Orlov is the Great Russian Hope of D.C. defensemen with 18 points and a plus-3 rating in his first 53 games in the NHL. John Carlson is in a sophomore slump but it’s just a matter of time before he regains his aggressive game. And his boy Karl Alzner is the smartest defenseman on the team.

Then there’s Jeff Schultz. He’s less recognizable than John Doe but is a career plus-86 player. Yeah.

The ideal situation: Keep those four and re-sign all-star Dennis Wideman and enforcer John Erskine for some veteran presence. Deal Roman Hamrlik to a young team in need of a vet for a C-list player or a draft pick.

That leaves a formidable line to guard the goal from tougher divisional foes next year.

Times have changed in Washington. Once a member of the Young Guns with Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin, Green is rusting over.

As the fourth-highest paid Capital, there’s no reason to believe re-signing him will pay off. It’s better to let him go than risk another year of injury and disappointment.  

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