The Free Press’s Helene St. James offers grades regarding the Wings’ signings of Thomas Vanek, Jonathan Bernier and Mike Green:
D Mike Green
Why: Green, 32, led the Wings defense with 33 points (eight goals, 25 assists) and 13 power-play points. He and Nick Jensen are the only defensemen on the team who shoot right. Green was the Wings’ best defenseman at times last season (especially in the first half as Danny DeKeyser struggled). Green will run one of the power plays, and he fits in well in the locker room.
Ramifications: The length of the deal means that in two years, Green, Trevor Daley and Jonathan Ericsson’s contracts are all up, creating opportunity for prospects to take on bigger roles or grab a job. Green puts the Wings at six NHL defensemen signed toward 2018-19, leaving room for at least one prospect to take a spot. Filip Hronek has the edge because he had a very good first year of pro hockey (11 goals, 28 assists for 39 points in 67 games with with the Griffins, ran a power play), but 2016 first-round pick Dennis Cholowski is a well-rounded package of skill, skating and size, and could make a push to be first on the call-up list if he starts in Grand Rapids.