The Devils today traded their captain, defenseman Andy Greene to the New York Islanders in exchange for defenseman David Quenneville and a New York’s second round pick in 2021.
Quenneville, the 21-year-old brother of former Devil John and cousin to former Devil Joel, will report to Binghamton of the American Hockey League.
With the pick, the Devils now possess seven picks in 2021. According to the press release put out by the team on the subject, they have their own first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth round picks, plus the Islanders’ second-round pick and the Coyotes’ third round pick (which is conditional) from the Taylor Hall trade.
This move certainly changes the complexion of the club, as Greene had served as the eleventh captain in team history since named to the post on October 8, 2015. Greene, 37-years-old and one of the oldest players in the NHL, was set to be an unrestricted free agent following this season.
Greene was signed by the Devils as a college free agent out of Miami University of Ohio. He was in his 14th season as a Devil, sharing time with Travis Zajac as longest-tenured Devils. Zajac has a slight edge on Greene there, as he should reach 1,000 games this season, whereas Greene should get there next season. He had played in 923 games as a Devil, good for seventh in that category for the franchise.
This move, which interim general manager Tom Fitzgerald called one he did take “lightly,” puts Greene in a position to compete for a Stanley Cup, a chance he has not gotten since 2012 when the Devils lost to Los Angeles in the Finals. It also gives the Isles a good veteran leader for down the stretch and reunites Greene with Lou Lamoriello, the man who drafted him. The Devils get younger on defense and get something of value instead of losing Greene for free should he walk come July 1.
Greene also gets to remain in the area, something a veteran player with a family and roots is always concerned with.
Fitzgerald mentioned in the press release that “Andy has been a bedrock for the Devils franchise for the past 14 years and an exceptional leader in my time here.” He said that he “constantly communicated with Andy throughout this process to make sure he was comfortable with the decision.”
One concern for the Devils now is who will take the mantle as the next captain? Nico Hischier is a choice that I am sure the team will be heavily considering. Blake Coleman, who is a little older than Nico and a free agent after next season, would be a good option as well. There is support for both men amongst fans. There could be an outlier like a Zajac or a Kyle Palmieri should they remain with the team and not be traded as well.
No matter what happens, good luck to Andy with the Islanders and thank you for your time on the Devils’ blue line. He was a great leader and a mentor to young players who will be the future of this team going forward.