The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/16/14 at 03:28 PM ET
The Mike Green trade talk has almost entirely originated from Detroit-area sportswriters (though NBC Washington's Adam Vignan poured some cold water on the theory that Green's going to be traded at all), so Comcast Sportsnet Washington's Chuck Gormley's examination of a possible Green-to-the-Red-Wings scenario merits mentioning...
Especially given that Gormley believes that the 28-going-on-29-year-old Green, concussions, knee, back and groin issues and $6.083 cap hit included, is worth at least a Wings 28-goal-scorer in return:
The Caps are in need of a second-line center and Trotz has spoken glowingly of Red Wings center Gustav Nyquist, a 24-year-old Swede who seemed to come out of nowhere [he was taken with the 121st pick of the 2008 draft] to score 28 goals last season.
Nyquist is entering the second year of a two-year contract that pays him $1.05 million next season with a $950,000 cap hit. Green is entering the final year of a contract that pays him $6.25 million and carries a cap hit of roughly $6.1 million. With that in mind, the Caps would need to sweeten any offer for Nyquist.
Gormely also suggests that the Caps would have their pick of the Eastern and Western Conference's available centers if they offer him up for auction...
If the Caps are interested in moving Green for a second-line center who, like himself, is headed toward free agency next summer, that list of potential candidates includes Boston’s David Krejci, 28, Nashville’s Mike Fisher, 34, and Arizona’s Antoine Vermette, 31.
Or, they could trade contracts with the Colorado Avalanche, exchanging Green for 23-year-old center Ryan O’Reilly, who is likely to make $6 million next season when or if his case goes to arbitration.
There is also the intrigue of Jumbo Joe Thornton, a 35-year-old beast of a center who may be looking for a change of scenery after signing a three-year, $20.25 million contract extension with San Jose that carries a $6.75 million cap hit. Thornton proved he is still one of the best set-up men in the league last season with 65 assists and 76 points.
But Gormely isn't sure whether the Capitals will move Green at all:
If Green is removed from the Caps’ defensive equation, the season-opening combinations will have a completely different look, with Orpik, Carlson, Alzner and Niskanen filling the top four slots and some combination of Jack Hillen, John Erskine, Connor Carrick and Nate Schmidt making up the third pairing.
The question facing the Caps is whether they are willing to weaken their blue line at the expense of strengthening themselves down the middle. Only time will provide that answer.
My reaction to Gormley's suggestions reads as follows:
Update: Meanwhile in reality land, per the Washington Post's Alex Prewitt...
The moment Capitals development camp broke, Coach Barry Trotz boarded a northbound plane to attend a reunion celebrating the two-decade anniversary of the AHL’s Portland Pirates winning the Calder Cup. He was an up-and-comer then, in his early 30s and following the team on its migration from Baltimore to Maine, a vital cog in the organization he would later rejoin as Capitals head coach.
“It’s a special group,” Trotz said Saturday. “You always have special bonds, so I’m going to get up there.”
Frustrated fans could certainly conjure any number of definitions or examples to categorize the term over recent seasons, like a lack of defensive depth, or constant upheaval at head coach, or the pervasive second-line center issues, or the franchise’s first postseason absence since 2006-07. So here comes Trotz, the man known for connecting with his players, seeking, as owner Ted Leonsis has called it, a “refresh.”
Part of this will mean creating a leadership group, serving as liaisons between the locker room and coaches. Defenseman Mike Green will be on it, Trotz told CSN, and others will follow.
“To me, to be in the leadership group you’ve got to become a good role model,” he said. “And you’ve got to be a role model for everybody and you’ve got to be a coach’s voice. When things are going a little bit awry, then I think you have to have the communication between that group and myself. That group has got to get the coaching staff and the organizational message to everybody in that room. That’s what leadership is. I’m giving them the opportunity to be a part of that. If they embrace it, I think it could be a very powerful group.”
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.