Red Wings defenseman Mike Green discusses dealing with the trade deadline's passing, and focusing on his return to the ice after an injury. Gregg Krupa, The Detroit News
Detroit — Mike Green is happy he is staying.
The fact of the matter is the Red Wings are, too.
Don’t be surprised if this goes on for a while, because the Wings prize Green’s leadership, his mentoring of younger defensemen, and the fact that he is providing the lion’s share of offense from the back end for a second season.
And like many of the Red Wings over the years, Green likes living here.
He did not seem like a fellow with a lot of interest in leaving leading up to the trade deadline.
A foremost candidate for swapping since early in the season, the Red Wings did not trade the unrestricted free agent.
Injured, he has a neck problem that began with a late-game bodycheck.
According to teams interested in acquiring him, they talked to Red Wings’ doctors. The injury could be reaggravated even after the 32-year-old returns to the lineup.
The general manager for the Lightning, Steve Yzerman, chose Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers, instead, for a trade that landed the Rangers a significant yield of younger players.
“My mind frame was always here in Detroit,” said Green, who chose the Red Wings over some other interested clubs when he arrived two seasons ago from the Capitals.
“Obviously, with the speculation and the talk of the situation I was in, anything could have happened.
“I’m happy to be here, and move forward.”
For the Capitals, Green’s early seasons were among the most successful offensively for a defenseman all-time. Despite a decline, he ranks sixth in scoring by defensemen over the past decade.
As a veteran, he said, he understands the trade deadline situation and it did not bother him.
He said that he and GM Ken Holland have informally discussed the possibility of signing a new contract in Detroit.
“Like I said before this all came about, I love it here,” said Green, a native of Calgary.
“My focus was always here, and always has been, and wasn’t going to change unless something was done.”
BERTUZZI TO PLAY MORE
Tyler Bertuzzi will be the immediate beneficiary of Tomas Tatar’s ice time after a trade Monday sent Tatar to the Golden Knights for three draft choices, including a 2018 firstround pick.
Bertuzzi, a 23-year-old forward, started his current stint with the Red Wings playing a significant role, only to have his performance diminish to the point Blashill scratched him from the lineup while healthy.
“Well, Tyler Bertuzzi will certainly increase his minutes by a lot,” Blashill said, after an optional practice, Tuesday.
“I think when Tyler first came up, when there were injuries, I think he played very, very well. I thought he slipped a little bit, opened the door for some others to take his spot, and then didn’t get much of an opportunity.
“All Tyler needs, in my opinion, is opportunity. He’s going to get that. He’s going to tons of opportunity.”
That includes time on the power play, Blashill said.
Blashill said Martin Frk will return to the lineup against the Blues tonight.
“My focus for him is to make sure he’s skating on the forecheck, make sure he’s skating on the track,” Blashill said. “If he does those things, I think he’s an effective player.”
RED WINGS AT BLUES
Faceoff: 8 Wednesday, Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Mo.
Outlook: The Blues have slipped in the standings, and were of the playoffs entering play Tuesday when they were to play the Wild in Minnesota. ... The Red Wings have a goal differential of -18 goals. They are 22d in the 31-team league on the power play and 23rd killing penalties, 28th on the road.