Two Mike Green-related items popped up this morning (again: the Free Press’s Helene St. James reported that Green [neck] accompanied the team to New York), with USA Today’s Kevin Allen naming Green one of the nine “most intriguing” players to watch going into the deadline…
Mike Green, Detroit Red Wings. Green is a right-handed shooting defenseman who can still help spark an offense and contribute on a power play. Those players are rare, and that’s not just for this deadline. He’d look good on a contender’s second pair. Green, who has a $6 million cap hit, is set to be a UFA this offseason.
And The Athletic’s Max Bultman examined Green’s injury-induced absence as a “glimpse of the Red Wings’ defense” minus #25:
In Green’s absence, Trevor Daley has seen an uptick in time on the unit, joining Niklas Kronwall as the team’s main power-play blueliners. In a 3-1 Detroit win over the Hurricanes, Daley logged 2:20 with the man advantage and Kronwall totaled 2:53. Danny DeKyser was the only other Detroit defenseman to see more than a minute of power-play time, and only just barely: He had 1:05.
But asked Wednesday if Kronwall and Daley were the presumptive plan in the event of a trade, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill also offered another option.
“You’ve got a guy in Joe Hicketts down in the minors, too, that at some point might get the opportunity to come up and show what he can do on the power play,” Blashill said. “I think (Daley)’s done a good job, I think he’s a good power-play player and (Kronwall)’s a good power-play player. So, we’ll see.”
We’ll see, indeed. Hicketts didn’t get any power-play time in his NHL debut Jan. 22, a 3-0 Red Wings win over New Jersey, but having his name brought up by Blashill is probably a sign in his favor.
Could there be a scenario in which Detroit calls up fellow Griffins defenseman Filip Hronek, who has seven goals and 21 assists in the AHL this season? Hronek is outpacing Hicketts’ two goals and seven assists this year, though last season Hicketts finished with seven goals and 27 assists, and he’s still a year-and-a-half older than Hronek.
It would be hard for a power play to get better losing Green, but “better” probably isn’t the most relevant consideration here. The Red Wings have continued to fight to win this season, even in the face of overwhelming odds. However, that’s just one aspect of this situation. If Green is traded, the next step becomes about what’s the best option for the franchise — that mostly means looking toward the future.
Bultman continues (paywall), and I’d imagine that the Wings would call up one of Hicketts or Hronek before the deadline passed as the Wings are only allowed to make 4 non-roster emergency call-ups after the deadline passes at 3 PM EST.