Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The Green Effect

A Look at Mike Green vs. Tobias Enstrom

Mike Green has signed a 3-year extension with the Washington Capitals. According to CapGeek, the 26-year-old defenseman will carry an annual cap hit of $6,083,333. While it’s no concern of the Jets how the Capitals spend their money, there are repercussions across the league when injury ridden players receive substantial contracts.

Green burst onto the offensive-defenseman scene in ’07-’08 when he collected 56 points while playing in every game for the Caps. He followed the effort up with consecutive First-Team All-Star Game appearances and consecutive Norris Trophy nominations. Between 2007 and 2010 the Caps’ number one defenseman was worth a $6M cap hit. Since then?  Green has played 81 games over the course of two seasons, tallied 11 times and added 20 assists.

Mike Green

Season

Age

Tm

Lg

GP

G

A

PTS

GC

+/-

PIM

EV

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

2005-06

20

WSH

NHL

22

1

2

3

1

-8

18

1

0

0

0

13

7.7

2006-07

21

WSH

NHL

70

2

10

12

4

-10

36

2

0

0

0

68

2.9

2007-08

22

WSH

NHL

82

18

38

56

20

6

62

10

8

0

4

234

7.7

2008-09

23

WSH

NHL

68

31

42

73

28

24

68

12

18

1

4

243

12.8

2009-10

24

WSH

NHL

75

19

57

76

26

39

54

9

10

0

4

205

9.3

2010-11

25

WSH

NHL

49

8

16

24

9

6

48

3

5

0

1

115

7

2011-12

26

WSH

NHL

32

3

4

7

3

5

12

0

3

0

1

64

4.7

Career

NHL

398

82

169

251

91

62

298

37

44

1

14

942

8.7

Green apologists will point to the injuries – a concussion and a flimsy groin. Green detractors will say that a groin injury (like the one that sidelined the oft-maligned defenseman for 23 consecutive games last season) isn’t the kind of injury that just goes away. Consider Green’s own words from December 27th 2011, “I think I’m going to have to be cognizant of this for the rest of my career.” The Capitals know what Green is capable of, and they’re counting on him to return to that standard.

The rest of the league? Wondering exactly what this means for their own expiring contracts. Most pundits are discussing what Shea Weber is worth on Green’s sliding scale. Weber is arguably the best defenseman in the NHL – he’s the same age as Green and dominates the entire rink with a physical style of play. He’s played a minimum of 78 games the last four seasons and collected 193 points. In light of Green’s new contract Weber could easily demand $12M per season – not that Weber would handcuff his team like that.

Jets fans can be interested in what Green’s contract means to their own Tobias Enstrom. Though Enstrom has never had the type of season that Green displayed through 2007-2010, he’s also never thrown up the duds that Green’s shown the last two seasons. The 27-year-old is set to make $3.75M next year before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Tobias Enstrom

Season

Age

Tm

Lg

GP

G

A

PTS

GC

+/-

PIM

EV

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

2007-08

23

ATL

NHL

82

5

33

38

12

-5

42

1

4

0

0

105

4.8

2008-09

24

ATL

NHL

82

5

27

32

10

14

52

2

2

1

1

86

5.8

2009-10

25

ATL

NHL

82

6

44

50

15

-5

30

4

2

0

0

109

5.5

2010-11

26

ATL

NHL

72

10

41

51

17

-10

54

4

6

0

0

113

8.8

2011-12

27

WPG

NHL

62

6

26

32

10

6

38

4

2

0

1

94

6.4

Career

NHL

380

32

171

203

64

0

216

15

16

1

2

507

6.3

Credit: Bruce Fedyck-US PRESSWIRE

Enstrom is coming off a slightly disappointing ’11-’12 campaign where he collected only 32 points in a season shortened by a broken collar bone. There’s no question that Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff would like to get his number two d-man signed long term. The Jets are playoff contenders Enstrom with in the lineup, and defensive partner Dustin Byfuglien is better with the Swede at his side.

The question is –  how much is Enstrom worth? The Jets have the cap space to sign him to a large contract, but what’s the breaking point? When does Enstrom become more valuable to the Jets as trade bait? There’s no denying that the Jets need more scoring, and a package including Enstrom could fetch a top-6 forward.

Personally, I’d like to see Enstrom remain a Jet with a cap hit under $5M. It’s a number that won’t handcuff the team when players like Blake Wheeler, Alexander Burmistrov and Mark Scheifele are all looking for lofty new contracts.

 

 

Tags: Kevin Cheveldayoff Mike Green Shea Weber Tobias Enstrom UFA

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