Mike Green remains in Capitals' plans despite additions of Orpik and Niskanen

Jul 1, 11:09 PM

The Washington Capitals made some kind of splash in free agency Tuesday, signing defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik - both previously of the Pittsburgh Penguins - to long-term contracts. 

The additions led some to surmise that perhaps Mike Green may be deemed expendable by the club.

Pump the brakes on that speculation, says general manager Brian MacLellan.

With that apparent vote of confidence in mind, Green's agent said his client is "excited about the additions because it makes the team better."

Green has one year remaining on his deal with the Capitals, carrying a cap hit of over $6-million. The 28-year-old registered nine goals and 29 assists in 70 games for Washington this past season, the fourth highest point total of his nine year career.

While Green appears to be in the team's plans heading into training camp, things may change as the 2015 trade deadline approaches, lest the Capitals lose him to unrestricted free agency next summer.

Jul 9, 6:34 PM

Report: Red Wings have 'reached out' to Capitals regarding Mike Green's availability

Jul 9, 6:34 PM

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With a clear need for a right-handed defenseman - and with Washington having snagged top-option Matt Niskanen off the free agent market - the Red Wings have "reached out to the Capitals" in regards to the availability of Mike Green, according to Art Regner of FOX Sports Detroit.

As per Capgeek, the Capitals sit just over $1-million under the salary cap, with eight defensemen under contract for the upcoming season. A deal involving Green would allow them to be free of his $6-million cap hit, rendering Niskanen and fellow FA signing Brooks Orpik as the team's highest-paid defensemen.

On the Detroit side of things, the Red Wings have $9.5-million in available cap space, with only six defensemen - all left-handed - under contract, with restricted free agent Danny DeKeyser yet to sign.

Based on Detroit's need and the dollar and cents, a trade seems prime to happen, as further argued here by Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

Feature photo courtesy of Reuters/Kevin Hoffman