Looks like Mike Green was wise to turn down his qualifying offer.
The day after the Caps defensemen rejected signing a one-year, $5 million tender, Washington GM George McPhee announced the club inked Green to a three-year, $18.25 million dollar deal.
The contract has an average annual value of $6.08 million and will keep Green in the nation’s capital until 2015.
“We are pleased to re-sign Mike Green to a new contract,” McPhee told the Caps website. “Mike is one of the best young defensemen in the National Hockey League and is just entering his prime. He will continue to be a key part of our team moving forward.”
The contract is risky given Green’s health concerns over the last two years. He’s missed 83 games with a myriad of injuries — concussion, ankle and groin — despite the fact he’s only 26 years old.
That said, Green is a dynamic defenseman when healthy.
He posted video game-like numbers from 2008-10 — scoring 149 points in 143 games — and earned back-to-back Norris Trophy nominations.
After overcoming an injury-riddled 2011-12 campaign, Green played solidly in the playoffs, appearing in all 14 of Washington’s postseason contests while finishing second among defensemen in points and plus-minus. He also showed an improvement defensively — the knock on Green throughout his career is he’s offense first, defense second — and was at the forefront of Washington’s shot-blocking party, registering 28.
— Green now has the 11th-highest cap hit among all NHL defensemen. Only Ryan Suter, Brian Campbell, Drew Doughty, Zdeno Chara, Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Boyle, Dion Phaneuf, Wade Redden (ha!), Erik Karlsson and Kimmo Timonen earn more annually.
— The deal’s salary structure calls for Green to make $6 million in each of the next two years, then $6.25 million in 2014-15.