Skip to Main Content

D Mike Green gets 4-year, $21 million with Caps @NHLdotcom

WASHINGTON (AP) -The Washington Capitals are keeping the dynamic young star with the oh-my-gosh end-to-end moves.

Alex Ovechkin? He's already under contract. Tuesday was Mike Green's day as the NHL's top scoring defenseman was rewarded with a four-year, $21 million contract.

Green scored 18 goals last season at the unripe age of 22, becoming the youngest player to lead defensemen in goals since Paul Coffey in 1981-82. He especially flourished after he was reunited early in the season with coach Bruce Boudreau, whose attacking style is a perfect fit for Green's talents.

"Yeah, me and Bruce have been through quite a bit in the last three years," said Green, who had previously played for Boudreau with the Capitals' AHL affiliate in Hershey. "He wins coach of the year this season and he's only there for three-quarters of the season. It goes to show how good of a coach he is. I didn't want to leave Bruce."

League MVP Ovechkin, meanwhile, led the league overall this season with 65 goals. He and Green - both chosen in the first round of the 2004 draft - became the first teammates to lead the NHL in goals and goals by a defenseman since Mario Lemieux and Paul Coffey in 1988-89.

Green, in his second full season in the league, was also one of four Capitals to play in every game and led the team in ice time with 23:38 minutes per game. His 56 points ranked seventh in the NHL among defensemen. He had eight power-play goals, four game-winning goals and three overtime goals.

"Mike has developed into an impact defenseman in the short time since we drafted him, and he will be a key part of our team moving forward," general manager George McPhee said.

Green's deal was announced on the morning of the first day of free agency and accomplished one of Washington's top offseason goals. Another is the re-signing of goaltender Cristobal Huet, who was acquired at the trade deadline and helped lead the team to its first playoff berth since 2003.

Green, of course, was also a key part of the postseason push. He struggled early in the season under defensive-minded coach Glen Hanlon, who was fired Nov. 22 and replaced by Boudreau. Green had 15 goals and 49 points in 61 games after Boudreau was hired.

"He just let me play my game," Green said. "And I think as a player that's the most important thing, is not putting limitations on certain players and whatnot and letting guys play within the system he promotes. He definitely was a big part of giving me an opportunity to do what I can do."

The Capitals were 11-4-0 when Green scored a goal. He also had three goals and seven points in the seven-game series loss to Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs.

Green knows he'll be expected to do even more now that he's signed his first big-money contract.

"Maybe there is a little bit of pressure," Green said. "But it think also it takes a lot of pressure off to know you're with a team and where you want to be."

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.