Andy Greene was finally awarded this past summer for his positive performances despite the team playing poorly. After Ilya Kovalchuk retired from the NHL, the Devils had an open spot for Alternate Captain. At the recent press conference at Yankee Stadium for the Coors Light Stadium Series, Captain Bryce Salvador stood alongside Andy Greene. Greene was sporting the “A” on his sweater. It’s safe to say it is well deserved.
Greene impressed in his 4 years at Miami University with his best season coming his Junior year when he totaled 34 points in 38 games. Not too shabby for a defenseman.
Greene posted 10 points or under for his first 3 seasons with the Devils (his first season he only played in 23 games). His fourth season was the best season of his career. He had 6 goals and 31 assists with 4 PPG and 11 PPA. He also had a +9 rating. The next season his plus/minus was a very worrying -23 but he also was productive with 23 points.
The next two seasons he would total 16 points, with this past season being the higher plus/minus (12).
What to Expect
I believe that Greene will have a better year with his new solidified leadership role on the team. He has shown plenty of upside and not a whole lot of downside in his career. He will look to rub off on possible line-mate Marek Zidlicky and have a solid 2nd D-line this season.
I think that Zidlicky needs to feed off of Andy Greene this season. That’s not to say Zidlicky is a bad defenseman, but Zidlicky did have a pretty bad year. I think one of the reasons Zidlicky needs to be on line two or higher is because I believe he will have a better year.
Including this season, Greene still has two more years on his contract and, barring any huge change in circumstances, will be re-signed in a heartbeat off the UFA market. The Devils will surely want to keep him around as one of the cornerstones of the team and has quite a few more years left in him.
Stay tuned to Pucks and Pitchforks for more preseason content including the next 2013-14 preview, Ryan Carter.