There are no secrets in the NHL.
So Holland knows exactly what he’s getting in defenseman Mike Green, whom he signed to a three-year deal Wednesday with an average salary cap hit of $6 million -- the same money Green was making in Washington.
Holland knows that the $6 million a year means he is getting a dynamic back-end player who can move the puck seamlessly from the defensive zone, join the rush, and finish plays as well as most any defenseman in the league.
The longtime Red Wing GM also knows he’s getting a defenseman that the Capitals coaching staff tried to hide as much as possible last season, reducing Green’s five-on-five exposure by moving him to the third pairing while still giving him ample power-play time to try and maximize his considerable offensive talents.
Unfortunately for the Capitals, the Rangers also get to watch games and study tape, so by the end of their emotional, back-and-forth series, the Rangers were picking on Green pretty much every shift.
And while we’re not blaming Green for the Capitals’ Game 7 overtime loss at Madison Square Garden, he was certainly exploited in that series.
Should that matter to the Red Wings?
Yes, it should.
This is a team that hasn’t been to the Stanley Cup finals since 2009 and has been bounced in the first round the past two seasons. Having players who can rack up regular-season points but cannot contribute to the collective in the postseason, especially at $6 million per season, doesn’t seem like a sound game plan.
But Green’s skill set is unique as it relates to the free agent market and the fact he is a right-handed shot and at just 29 makes the possible rewards justify the obvious risks.