New Jersey Devils: Can Andy Greene Change His Legacy Completely With Islanders?

New York Islanders right wing Kyle Palmieri (left) and defenseman Andy Greene (right): (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders right wing Kyle Palmieri (left) and defenseman Andy Greene (right): (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

Andy Greene spent 14 years with the New Jersey Devils. He played 923 regular-season games in New Jersey before he was traded to the New York Islanders for this year’s 2nd-round draft pick. He was the Devils captain for 364 of those games. There was a time where Devils fans thought he might be worthy of “Ring of Honor” status. However, he’s thrived since he went to the Island, and it might be changing the narrative of his career.

In those 14 years, Greene played 50 playoff games with the Devils. Just under half of those games came in the Devils 2012 Stanley Cup Final run. He was very good on that run, and it’s likely part of the reason he succeeded Bryce Salvador as captain when he retired. However, after making the playoffs in four of his first five seasons, he made the playoffs once for the rest of his Devils career.

Meanwhile, he’s played 40 playoff games in two seasons with the Islanders. You are reading this right. In two postseasons, Andy Greene has played more games than the 13 seasons he ended the season in New Jersey.

That’s obviously a telling stat. For one, it shows the magical run the Islanders have been on the past two seasons. However, it shows just as much that the Devils have been downright awful for most of Greene’s career. He’s only seen the second round twice in his Devils career, and once it came when he was still a rookie.

That puts his legacy into question. Sure, it’s not like the legacy of Andy Greene is terribly important. He’s not a Hall of Famer or anything, but it’s funny how legacy sticks with players as they continue their career outside of hockey. Bobby Holik had an interesting run outside of New Jersey and signed his biggest contract with the Rangers, but he will always be considered a Devils legend. Meanwhile, the same seems to go for Claude Lemieux, but he won Stanley Cups with Montreal and Colorado outside of his two Cups in New Jersey.

A legacy is built in the playoffs, and Greene is building his with the Islanders. He’s played a crucial role by keeping other stars off the scoreboard, especially on the power play. He’s only allowed nine high-danger chances in 23 minutes on the penalty kill.

On Sunday, the Islanders had their exit interviews, and Greene was not shy about his future plans.

Greene is looking to continue to build his legacy in New York. They got to within one goal of the Stanley Cup Final this season, and it makes sense to bring back a veteran defenseman who is willing to play on a minimum salary. That is exactly what Lou Lamoriello likes.

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If Greene is able to lift the Stanley Cup with the Islanders, it might completely push him as an Islanders legend. Those Cup teams have a special mantra about them. Think about Ray Bourque. Nobody would ever forget about his time with the Boston Bruins, but it’s hard to mention any of his accolades before his Cup run with the Avalanche. Greene doesn’t even have this great legacy with the Devils, but he’s really building something with the Islanders. It’s scary to see that it’s so easy to move on from over a decade with the Devils, but this past decade hasn’t exactly been worth putting in the history books.