Oilers’ Mike Green opts out of NHL’s return because of family reasons

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Mike Green (27) fights for the puck against the Vegas Golden Knights. (John Locher/AP)

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Mike Green has informed the team that he has opted out of the NHL’s return to play program.

“Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and after much consideration, I’ve decided for deeply personal family health reasons, not to participate in the return to play,” Green wrote in a statement. “This has been a hard decision knowing I’m going to miss the opportunity to compete in the playoffs with a Stanley Cup contender. I wish the best of luck to the guys and I appreciate the Edmonton Oilers support.”

Green’s decision to opt out comes after the NHL and NHLPA ratified a new CBA and return-to-play plan, paving the way for the league’s summer restart. Calgary Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic, Vancouver Canucks forward Sven Baertschi and Dallas Stars defender Roman Polak have also announced that they will not take part in the league’s restart.

Green is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2019-20 campaign, and has three goals and eight assists in 50 games with the Detroit Red Wings this season. The 34-year-old played in two games with the Oilers before suffering an MCL injury prior to the season being put on pause by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edmonton acquired Green at the NHL trade deadline in exchange for forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional draft pick in either 2020 or 2021. The pick will be a fourth-round selection in 2020, but will become a third-rounder in 2021 if Edmonton reaches the conference final this spring and Green appears in half the Oilers’ games.

The Oilers will face the Chicago Blackhawks in a best-of-five play-in series starting Aug. 1 in Edmonton.

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