While he may not have been on the Top-5 NJ Devils Free Agents list at any point this off-season, Andy Greene was a player that GM Lou Lamoriello wanted to lock up this summer. Much like Cory Schneider, Lou wanted to ensure that they would be the only ones that could entice Greene and keep him in NJ for a few more years.
Andy Greene’s current contract expires at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season. He is set to make $3.5 million for this season. Once his new contract begins he will make $5 million a season through the 2019-2020 season.
Greene wore the alternate captain “A” on his jersey for much of the season and played in all 82 games. He tallied 8 goals and 24 points to give him the most points in a season since the 2009-10 season where he registered 37 points. The only other time he has passed the 32 point mark was in 2004-05 in the NCAA.
Tom Gulitti passed along what Lou Lamoriello had to say about the signing:
“There’s no question it was important for us have Andy long-term,” Lamoriello said. “He is the sort-of top defenseman right now if you have to look at who the top defenseman is. He carries the most minutes in each critical situation whether it’s 5-on-5, in a defensive situation or in a power-play situation and penalty killing. We have to kind of keep ice time away from him, that’s how important he is, to make sure late in the game he isn’t tired. So, that’s an indication of what we think of him.
“The other aspect is his leadership, which goes unnoticed. He’s a quiet leader. He’s respected by the players (as) evident in the postseason awards by the players, what they think of him, and the way he can handle the young defensemen. They look up to him. He knows what to say, when to day it and when he says something it means something and they never take it personal. So, having all of that knowledge, it was very important to have Andy back and also, as he mentioned, he’s a pure Devil. This is the only team he’s been with. This is the team he wanted to be with.”
You can read the rest of the Fire and Ice blog post here.
Stay tuned to Pucks and Pitchforks for more NJ Devils Off-Season news.