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Mike Green joins Red Wings on ice for first time

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green skated with many of his new teammates for the first time on Friday.

Green took part in an informal skate at Joe Louis Arena on after arriving in Detroit on Thursday.

"[I spent] a long time in Washington but moving forward here, I'm extremely excited to be a part of this group, especially with the history, the leadership here, the recipe to win," Green said. "Overall, just a great deal of excitement.

"The guys have been very welcoming this morning, so I can't wait to get started."

The Red Wings signed Green, 29, to a three-year, $18 million contract on July 1, after the free agent spent the first 10 seasons of his NHL career with the Washington Capitals. The hope in Detroit is Green is the right-handed shooting defenseman with offensive abilities that has been lacking since Brian Rafalski retired in 2011.

"I guess they haven't had too many in the past," Green said. "I know that when we would play against the Red Wings, we would try to run plays against their left-handed guys. Being a right guy, I'll do my best to move the puck and get it into the forwards' hands."

Green had 10 goals and 45 points in 72 games with the Capitals last season.

"I think Detroit, they play a very puck-possession game and have some incredible players that can make some plays so I'm excited to play with these guys," Green said. "Detroit was always a tough team to play against, especially as a defenseman. They have some skill up front and they're very dangerous."

New Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, who Green talked to before he took the ice, said he plans to pair Green with Danny DeKeyser.

"Great guy, great skater, moves the puck well," Green said of DeKeyser. "Obviously, playing against him, I know sort of just by watching him. I haven't paid too close attention to his tendencies, but I'm sure I'll get to learn him real quick. I'm really excited to play with him. I've kept an eye on him. I've actually watched a little bit of tape online, just clips of him.”

Forward Darren Helm is the only Red Wings player who had a prior relationship with Green; the two sometimes work out at the same gym in Calgary.

"I stop in Calgary a couple weeks every summer and jump in with him at his gym and get to train with him," Helm said. "He's a great guy, really nice. You don't really know too many people when you go into new teams or new gyms, and he made that transition real easy for me. Hopefully I can help him do that with this team. It was always fun to work out with him and now it's going to be even better having him on our team.

"It's going to be exciting, another weapon on the back for us, a guy who can shoot, pass, skate really well, make plays. It's going to be fun watching him on the [power play] for sure."

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