Mike Green retires after 15-year NHL career

Mike Green told Tarik el-Bashir of The Athletic that he’s retiring after 15 seasons and 880 NHL games with the Capitals, Red Wings and Oilers.

“Being an athlete isn’t the only part of who I am,” the 34-year-old Green said. “I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle. I’ve been very fortunate to turn my passion into my profession, but at this point in my life, I’m considering other things that I feel called to do.”

The 29th overall pick in the 2004 NHL draft by the Capitals, Green made his debut during the 2005-06 season. His offensive abilities from the blue line began to show with the 2007-08 season when he scored 18 times. He followed that up with 31 in 68 games the next season, which included 18 on the power play. That year he also scored in eight straight games to set the record for most consecutive games with a goal by a defenseman.

Green ends his NHL career with 150 goals, 501 points. He was a two-time First Team NHL All-Star and was voted a Norris Trophy runner-up in back-to-back seasons (2009 and 2010).

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After 10 seasons in Washington, Green moved on to the Red Wings where he would spend the next four and a half seasons battling various injuries. He was dealt to the Oilers in February, but a knee injury put him out after two games and the pause prevented him from returning. Later, he was one of several NHL players who opted out before the NHL Return to Play began. That time off allowed him to examine his life and career.

“Through this whole thing, it’s sort of highlighted some things,” he told el-Bashir. “That hockey was abruptly removed from my life, it was tough for a while. But as the future was more and more uncertain, I became more aware of the things that are now the big things in my life — like my daughter crawling and laughing, teaching my son to fish. These are things you think you’re present for, and you think you’re around for when you’re playing. But your mind as a professional athlete, a lot of times, is thinking about the big stage and performing.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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