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Wings welcome Green to Detroit

by Dana Wakiji / Detroit Red Wings
Mike Green will be a welcome addition to the Red Wings' blue line, where he will also be a fixture on the team's power-play unit. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT -- It's going to be a whole new world for Mike Green and the Red Wings.

Green, 29, was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2004 and had spent his entire career with them.

"Obviously 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 Wings have been looking for a right-shooting defenseman for what seems like an eternity.

Now, Green is a Red Wing and joined some of his new teammates for their informal skate at Joe Louis Arena Friday morning.

"I arrived late last night," Green said. "Me and my wife found a place about two weeks ago and I was fortunate that she came down and sort of did all the moving before I got here last night. I'm excited to be here. The guys have been very welcoming this morning so I can't wait to get started."

Green had 10 goals and 35 assists and was plus-15 in 72 games last season.

"We finally got a right-hand defenseman that can be a top-four guy and can put points on the board," general manager Ken Holland said. "He had 47 points last year. I think he’s been a finalist for the Norris Trophy twice."

Green's career best is 31 goals, 18 on the power play, in the 2008-09 season and 76 points in the 2009-10 season.

The Wings can't wait to see what their power play looks like with Green on it.

"Alfie (Daniel Alfredsson) was here for a bit, but really since Rafi (Brian Rafalski) we haven’t really had a steady presence back there (as right hand shot), but really an offensively gifted defensemen, another thing we haven’t had in years," Niklas Kronwall said. "So we’re hoping for him to come in here and do his thing. Contribute offensively and join the rush when you can and I thought he was a great addition, excited to get to see him and meet him and play with him."

Even Green said other teams were aware of the Wings' lack of a right-shot defenseman.

"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, do my best to move the puck and get it into the forwards' hands. That's really all of our goals, it doesn't matter whether you're right or left."

Coach Jeff Blashill's initial plan is 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 here. I'm really excited to play with him. Great player, outstanding. I've kept an eye on him. I've actually watched a little bit of tape online, just clips of him. I'm excited."

Green said he really didn't know any of the Wings, other than playing against them, except for Darren Helm.

Helm would often go to Calgary in the summer to work out where Green was working out.

"He’s a great guy, really nice," Helm said. "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 and 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."

Green said he's looking forward to the Wings' puck-possession style of play and not having to defend some of the Wings forwards.

"Detroit was always a tough team to play against, especially as a defenseman," Green said. "They have some skill up front and they're very dangerous. I'm excited to be on this side."

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