When you think of hockey teams that like to gamble, take chances and make risky moves, the Washington Capitals probably do not come to mind.
Oh sure, there is the occasional move made at the trade deadline to try and put the team over the top, such as getting a player like Jason Arnott to try and secure a second-line center. I suppose that could be termed a gamble of sorts but not a real eyebrow raiser.
Enter the 2012 offseason. Aside from all the talk of a looming lockout, it has been a relatively quiet offseason for the Caps. Yes, there was the trade for Mike Ribeiro, the solid draft and a smattering of free-agent signings of role players. But, none of those moves could be considered risky or reckless.
Still, the Caps made one move this offseason that has to be considered a bigger gamble than others they have made recently. I am, of course, talking about the Caps decision to sign defenseman Mike Green to a three-year, $18.25 million deal (Washington Post).
While there is little question that Green is one of the more popular players on the Caps, even the most jaded of Caps fans have to consider this move a bit of a gamble, to say the least. After all, Green has been plagued by injuries the past couple of seasons.
To be more specific, Green has only played in 81 regular-season games the past two seasons. He has dealt with shoulder, ankle and groin injuries, not to mention problems with concussions the past two seasons.
His relative absence these past two seasons made many forget that he registered back-to-back 70-point-plus seasons in 2008-09 and 2009-2010, and to a great extent, changed the way many in the NHL utilized their own defensemen.
As one of the key players responsible for the resurgence of the franchise the past five years or so, it is not surprising that the Caps wanted to make a commitment to Green.
And still, the questions have to be there.
Was this a good move?
Did the Caps pay too much?
Can Green return to his past form, or is he just destined to be injured again?
Relax Caps fans. Mike Green will be back and better than ever. It is quite safe for the Caps and their fans to put their faith back in Green.
And here are four reasons why.