Hockey analytics pioneer Rob Vollman is ESPN Insider's armchair GM this season, exploring how modern statistics can inform front-office decisions.
Demand for top-four defensemen is at an all-time high, drawing a lot of attention to Washington's Mike Green. The 29-year-old puck-mover is a pending free agent with a tremendous offensive upside, being the eighth and final defenseman to score 30 goals in a season since Kevin Hatcher in 1992-93. Detroit and Minnesota are among about a half-dozen teams that should be interested in making an offer -- ideally one that includes at least one prospect, and some defensive help up front.
It's actually the impressive play of John Carlson and Karl Alzner, the heavy investment made in free agents Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, and one of the most abundant blue lines in the entire league that has placed Washington in the enviable position to entertain offers for Green. With sky-high demand for top-four defensemen, and a hot start for Green (11 points in 14 games), the Capitals can name their price for the two-time Norris Trophy runner-up.
Emotions can run high when considering trade possibilities, which is why analytics can be helpful in figuring out exactly what Green brings to the table, where he might fit best and what the return should be. Let's start by establishing his peer group, then look at which teams should be on the phone to Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan.