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Buffalo, N.Y. — Mike Green has been through this before, so it’s nothing new.

The veteran defenseman’s name is in the rumor mill, as the NHL trade deadline approaches on Feb. 24.

“As you get older, you realize the ins and outs of the business side of it,” Green said of the trade speculation. “But that doesn’t change my focus here with the team right now, and the guys.

“Honestly, I don’t even know what they’re (social media) saying. I don’t pay attention; that’s kind of of my approach to it all.”

Green can be an unrestricted free agent this summer, as his two-year contract ($5.375 million salary cap hit) expires.

There’s little chance of the Wings re-signing Green, 34, as the Wings go deeper into their rebuild and open spots for younger players.

Green is the ultimate rental, an experienced defenseman who could add depth to a playoff contender.

And, realistically, Green is one of the few Wings' veteran players who has played well enough this season to possibly attract a mid-round draft pick in a trade.

“Everybody has sort of been in that situation before,” Green said of trade rumors. “Sometimes it transpires, and sometimes it doesn’t. But maybe I’m different, but I don’t think much about it, until something arises.

“Until something happens, you’re sort of worrying about nothing.”

Green, defenseman Trevor Daley (unrestricted free agent July 1), and possibly forward Andreas Athanasiou (a potential restricted free agent who has struggled this season) have been the most often speculated about in terms of trades.

Green said he hasn’t spoken to general manager Steve Yzerman about the trade deadline. But given where the Red Wings are in their organizational rebuild, and in the standings, Green understands there could be trades.

“The situation we’re in, we’re vulnerable here,” Green said. “But the commitment to the day-to-day process within this dressing room, it doesn’t change.”

What’s been a sore point with Green the last two seasons has been his inability to stay healthy.

Green returned to the lineup Sunday after missing six games with an undisclosed injury, the third time this season he’s missed multiple games, although Tuesday’s game in Buffalo will be his 43rd this season — already matching the total he played last season.

Green’s offensive production is way down — he entered Tuesday’s game with eight points (two goals) — while also possessing a minus-26 plus-minus rating.

“It’s been frustrating, but you put it behind you and move forward,” Green said of the injuries. “That’s sort of been my mindset over the last few (injuries).”

Personnel issues

The Wings activated forwards Anthony Mantha and Frans Nielsen on Tuesday afternoon, while sending Taro Hirose and Givani Smith to Grand Rapids.

Mantha returned to the lineup after being out since puncturing his lung in a Dec. 21 fight with Toronto defenseman Jake Muzzin.

Nielsen has missed the last five games, and six of the last seven, with an undisclosed injury.

Hirose and Smith were called up during a rash of Wings’ injuries.

Hirose played three games with the Wings — after getting into 23 games to start the season — with no points. He has two goals and seven points with the Wings this season.

Smith has two goals and one assist in 21 games with the Wings.

Longtime friends

Christoffer Ehn knew long ago Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, the 2018 No. 1 overall draft pick, would be a huge star.

The two players grew up within three blocks of each other in the small town of Lidkoping, Sweden.

“You noticed him right away,” said Ehn, who played about three years together with Dahlin at the junior level. “The talk when he was playing in juniors, you heard about it that this guy is really special, and once he came onto the men’s team (in Sweden), it was unbelievable to see.

“It’s been a lot of fun to know him over the years. Just to be from the same small city, it’s pretty cool.”

So what does Ehn know about Dahlin that maybe some don’t know?

It’s the stuff only a teammate would know.

“He’s great at forgetting things,” Ehn said. “Like packing bags and bringing stuff, that he’ll need to bring. That was kind of our role on the team, making sure he had everything he needed if we needed to fly somewhere. To bring his passport, stuff like that, he had a tendency to lose track of things.”

Ericsson waived

The Wings placed defenseman Jonathan Ericsson on waivers for the second time this season.

Just as in the first time, it's likely somewhat about Ericsson simply getting into the lineup and playing.

Ericsson has only played two games since breaking his nose Dec. 15. Ericsson played Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, coming out of the All-Star break, and hadn't played the last four games.

If Ericsson goes unclaimed before noon Wednesday, Ericsson could be assigned to Grand Rapids.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan

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