Andy Greene was traded to the New York Islanders by the New Jersey Devils on Sunday for a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and defenseman prospect David Quenneville.
“I am very excited, you get reenergized right away,” Greene said. “You’re coming into the last six weeks here, you’re in the middle of a [Stanley Cup] Playoff race here, you’re playing meaningful games down the stretch. Just to be part of that with the team, just looking forward to meeting up with the guys and try to be a piece to the puzzle here.”
The 37-year-old defenseman had spent his entire 14-season NHL career with the Devils and was captain the past five seasons. He played 923 regular-season games with the Devils, seventh most in their history, and had 246 points (49 goals, 197 assists), including 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 53 games this season. He had nine points (three goals, six assists) in 50 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
“Now to have the opportunity to acquire Andy brings a solid veteran into the lineup, one who has played on the No. 1 [defense] pair in New Jersey for a number of years, plays in all situations,” said Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello, who was GM of the Devils when Greene signed as an undrafted free agent April 4, 2006.
“I know him well, certainly from being with him for a number of years. And I know how he will fit in the locker room without a question. … We’re just delighted he’s an Islander today.”
New York was in the market for a veteran defenseman after Adam Pelech injured his Achilles tendon before its game against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 2. Pelech is out for at least the remainder of the regular season.
Greene, who is in the final year of a five-year contract he signed July 30, 2014, and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, waived a no-trade clause in his contract in order to join the Islanders.
“I wasn’t just going to waive the no-trade and go anywhere,” Greene said. “It had to be the right situation, the right fit.”
Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said that he and Greene had an open dialogue regarding a possible trade.
“Andy was in the driver’s seat all along with his full no-trade,” Fitzgerald said. “This a situation that came to fruition, and at the end of the day he had to sign off on it. I’ve kept him abreast of where we were at all along. Today it just happened to come to fruition.
“I don’t think I’m going to say anything you don’t know [about Greene]. He’s a really good hockey player but a much better person. The amount of time he’s been here … the one place. Asking players like that to move their no-trade is tough. I’ve been asked to help push this organization forward, and this a time where you have to make some tough decisions, but at the end of the day it’s about looking ahead.”
Greene is expected to join the Islanders (33-18-6), who are third in the Metropolitan Division, in time for their next game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Monday (4 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-A Plus, MSG+, NHL.TV).