The Washington Capitals should trade Mike Green this season, if he gets healthy enough to string together a few games. Yes, Mike Green is one of the best offensive defenseman ever, I am in complete support of his abilities, my problem is that he is injury prone and the Capitals can spend their money better elsewhere.
I would have never made this argument last year but with the acquisition of Dennis Wideman and the continued growth of John Carlson the Capitals have the offensive defenseman who can help replace the void left by Green.
Couple this with the potential departure of top six winger Alexander Semin, and the Capitals will have a major hole to fill up front. If Semin does leave the Capitals will his 6.7M cap space to replace him with, but the free agent market hasn’t been very strong as of late and because of this I feel the trade route would be better.
If they do go the trade route to replace Semin then they will have to decide which player they will offer up, and this leads me to the thought of trading Mike Green. To get a top six forward the Capitals will have to trade one of their top defenseman.
Green, Wideman and Carlson are all going to be looking for new contracts this offseason, with Wideman being the only UFA. Green will look to sign a similar deal to that of Drew Doughty and Shea Weber, which is reasonable given his offensive talents, but I worry about his inability to stay healthy. Wideman will be looking at a deal for around 5M a yr, while Carlson could be looking for a deal from 2-4M a yr.
I suggest trading Green this season to the Edmonton Oilers, a team in desperate need of an offensive defenseman. The Oilers also happen to have a tonne of young talent up front, and will more than likely be willing to part with it to bring in a young defenseman like Green.
So who do I think the Capitals should trade Green for?? I would center a trade around Magnus Paajarvi and Mike Green, with the Oilers adding Sam Gagner and Ladislav Smid to even out the value and the cap numbers.
I think a line that could feature Ovechkin-Backstrom-Paajarvi would potentially be a very fearsome combination for years to come. Paajarvi is under contract for this year and next at 1.525M before becoming an RFA, which means that the Capitals will have him on the cheap for a few more years. Add to that the fact that Sam Gagner is eligible for RFA status this year and Smid is under contract for next year as well means that the Capitals will be refilling their roster with young talent without losing anything.
Green can be replaced by Wideman and Carlson, as Wideman has shown that he can not only be a top offensive defenseman but also that he can stay healthy which is the key reason for why Green must be traded. Carlson on the other hand is in his second season in the league and has plenty of room to grow into a top two defenseman that can play at both ends of the rink.
For the Oilers, the benefits are obvious, as they get the offensive defenseman that they have been lacking for years, and they get rid of the forward logjam that they have been piling up. Yes, Green is a health risk but this is a risk that the Oilers must be willing to take based on the potential rewards they could receive from having a healthy Green.
So what do you think should the Capitals think about trading Green? If you would you make the trade that I suggested, or would you have a higher asking price?