The Detroit Red Wings do not have a ton of trade chips as they did last year with players like Gustav Nyquist and Nick Jensen. However, the Florida Panthers may be in the market for a veteran defenseman; Mike Green could be the perfect guy for the job.
With the trade deadline quickly approaching now that the calendar has flipped to February, the Detroit Red Wings need to act promptly and make whatever moves they can to secure some draft capital.
The entire league does not have a very deep class of “rentals” this season available with the top forward being Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers, the best defenseman being Mathew Dumba from the Minnesota Wild, and best goaltender being Robin Lehner from the Chicago Blackhawks. With thin markets, someone like Mike Green, who otherwise would possess little value, gains a little more as depth rental defenseman for a playoff team.
Currently third place in the Atlantic Division, the Florida Panthers are only up to one point on the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. The Panthers are 29-17-6, being on an excellent tear right now at 7-2-1 in their last ten contests.
The team recently just suffered the loss of captain Aleksander Barkov, who is out injured for at least a few games. Take a look into the Panthers defense core as of right now, paired according to CapFriendly’s depth chart projections.
- Pairing 1: LD Mike Matheson, RD Aaron Ekblad
- Pairing 2: LD Riley Stillman, RD Anton Stralman
- Pairing 3: LD Keith Yandle, RD MacKenzie Weegar
The Panthers’ defense core beyond these six is not deep; it contains some rough names which are almost unrecognizable to most in terms of veteran talent. If the team suffers an injury to a defenseman, they will almost certainly be relying on a young prospect defenseman to step up and play quality hockey, or a journeyman minor leaguer to step up.
In this case, bringing in someone like Green does not sound bad at all. So the question is, what would Green bring to the table for the Panthers that makes him an attractable trade target.
Currently, the Panthers’ first power-play unit holds one forward in a defenseman spot, and Yandle is quarterbacking things. The second power-play unit is where Green would do the most for the Panthers.
Over the years, Green has shifted from a scorer to a playmaker, who certainly still possesses the ability to quarterback a power-play. Putting him alongside Ekblad would allow the two almost to feed off each other and help the Panthers convert on the power-play. With Ekblad being young, Green provides a veteran presence on the blueline that may help Ekblad play better overall.
Looking at the team’s defense core above, Green could easily slide into Weegar’s role, or even Stillman/Matheson’s role on a platoon basis to add depth to the team’s defensive core.
Green is not going to step into the Panthers lineup as a significant impact player who tallies points left and right, but he adds depth to a very shallow depth chart, adds a veteran presence to a surging postseason team, and adds an offensive defenseman to a team that feeds on its offense.