The New Jersey Devils have signed defenseman Andy Greene to a five year extension that will kick in after the upcoming NHL season, per the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Set to make $3 million in the final year of his current contract, Greene will receive a significant raise starting in the 2015-16 season, when he starts the deal that’s worth $5 million annually.
Greene is New Jersey’s best defenseman in what’s been a transitional era from one of the most successful NHL franchises since the mid-1990s. The Devils won three Stanley Cups between 1995 and 2003 thanks to a rigid blue line and the play of Hall-of-Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur.
After the team had locked up Brodeur’s heir to the crease, Corey Schneider, they made a move to lock up the man most responsible for defending Schneider.
Greene tallied 8 goals and 24 assists in 82 games played last season. He remains optimistic that the Devils are ready to turn the corner.
“I think we’re right there,” Greene said. “With the way last year went, we weren’t far off. Our shootout record (0-13) gets thrown out there quite a bit. We win a couple of those and we’re in the playoffs and who knows what happens? Getting into the playoffs is all that matters now. Once you’re in, you have as good a chance as anyone else.”
He will have his chance to prove as much next season when the Devils take to the ice in a wide open Eastern Conference.