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Greene Adds Veteran Presence to Islanders' Blue Line

Andy Greene, a 14-year veteran, is "re-energized" to join Islanders during playoff push

by Cory Wright WrightsWay /

The New York Islanders added a veteran presence to their back end on Sunday, acquiring 14-year pro Andy Greene from the New Jersey Devils for David Quenneville and the team's 2021 second-round pick. 

Greene, a left-handed defenseman of 923 regular-season games, with 246 points over that span, helps the Islanders shore up their left side, especially in the wake of Adam Pelech's season-ending Achilles Tendon injury. Islanders President and GM Lou Lamoriello wanted an experienced blueliner as insurance as the playoff push heats up. 

"We feel very good about it and very fortunate," Lamoriello said of acquiring Greene. "Having the opportunity to acquire Andy brings a solid veteran into the lineup, one who has played on a number one pair in New Jersey for a number of years, plays in all situations and I know him well. I know how he will fit in the locker room without question."

Andy Greene & Lou Lamoriello Conference Call

Lamoriello said that Sunday's trade for Greene was not a kneejerk reaction to the Islanders' back-to-back shutout losses, but something he'd initially inquired about after Pelech's injury. Pelech averaged 21:08 per game and a team-high 2:47 per game shorthanded. Greene played similar minutes in New Jersey as he averaged 20:07 TOI/GP this season, including 3:25 SH TOI/GP, which ranks top-five in the league. 

Greene said Devils Interim General Manager Tom Fitzgerald didn't pressure him to waive his no-trade clause, nor did he demand a trade from the Devils. Greene said he'd only waive his no-trade clause if the fit was right for him and his family and said that his previous experience with Lamoriello, who signed him as a free agent out of Miami University in 2006, played a factor. Greene played under Lamoriello for nine years. 

"I wasn't just going to waive the no-trade to go anywhere, it had to be the right situation and the right fit," Greene said. "I took some time here over the past couple of weeks and tried to talk it out with my family, with my wife and make sure she was on board with it… She was awesome about it and very excited about it."

While leaving the only team he'd ever known was not a decision he took lightly, Greene said he is excited by the opportunity to join the Islanders. New Jersey is currently last in the Metropolitan Division and out of the playoff race, but with the Islanders, the 37-year-old has a chance to go back to the postseason for what would be the seventh time in his career. Greene was a part of the Devils team that advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, falling to the LA Kings in six games. 

"It's very exciting. You get re-energized right away," Greene said. "You're coming into the last six weeks here, you're in the middle of the playoff race and playing meaningful games down the stretch and just being part of that with the team. I'm looking forward to meeting up with the guys and being a piece of the puzzle here." 

Greene said he knows what to expect joining a Lamoriello-run team and has respect for what Head Coach Barry Trotz has done with the team on the ice. Greene said he's flying out to Arizona on Sunday night and should arrive prior to the Islanders-Coyotes game on Monday afternoon. 

"They play a very structured game, a hard game and a team game," Greene said. "I'm very comfortable in that and I'm looking forward to getting integrated into the team there, be a part of that, learn the systems and go from there." 

Lamoriello, who did not accompany the Islanders on the current road trip to close the Greene deal, was asked if he was planning on making any more moves ahead of the Feb. 24 trade deadline. 

"I don't think there's any question that we'd be willing to make one, but it certainly has to be the right situation, the right player and the right fit. We also can't lose sight of tomorrow. Wherever we can get help, we're going to do that… We'll see how things play out."

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