Last month, Alex Green signed a contract to return to the Wolves for the 2023-24 season. The defenseman was the first player added to the roster as general manager Wendell Young builds the team for ’23-24. In Part 1, Green talks about his decision to re-join the Wolves, his role with the team and playing in his hometown of Chicago.
What motivated you to rejoin the Wolves?
“I think the biggest thing was the belief that (general manager) Wendell Young had in me as a person and as a player. We had a lot of good conversations during the season and then once the season ended that was a big factor that played into my decision. And then being local and having friends and family around was also a big plus. So, just a lot of things made sense to come back to the Wolves. I didn’t want to even think about going somewhere else. It’s a perfect fit so I’m really excited to be back.”
You were playing with Laval last season when you asked for a trade. What was your reaction when you landed with the Wolves?
“It was really exciting. I didn’t really have any idea where I was going to end up. It wasn’t working out for me with Laval and I didn’t have any idea that Chicago would be the final destination. When I did find out, I was obviously ecstatic.”
When you were shifted to forward for a few games last season what was that transition like?
“It was different and something I’d never really done before. (Coach Brock Sheahan) asked me if I’d be willing to do it just because we had so many injuries and had different guys getting called up.
I was more than happy to do it and it was a good learning experience and helped me in all areas of my game. I was able to see the ice from a different position and it kind of helped round out my hockey IQ.”
And you scored a goal as a forward (on Feb. 18 vs. Cleveland at Allstate Arena). What were the emotions going through your head?
“It was pretty exciting for sure. I never would’ve thought I’d score a goal as a forward—I didn’t even think I’d ever be playing forward—so it was really cool.
It was an unbelievable play by Logan Lambdin and all I had to do was put it in the net. It was a good feeling for sure.”
What is the next step in your development?
“The biggest thing is kind of just reestablishing myself as an everyday defenseman in the AHL.
And then, obviously, the goal is to hopefully sign another NHL contract. Last season was a pretty roller-coaster year for me. I thought I had two good seasons in Syracuse and kind of established myself as a reliable defenseman in the AHL and then different things happened for different reasons and played a little bit of forward and played some defense.
So, I’m just looking to get back to where I was when I was playing in Syracuse and hopefully go on a deep playoff run with the Wolves next season.”
When you’re at the top of your game, what are you doing best to help the club?
Moving the puck well and playing physically are big parts of my game, but it’s about being a good two-way defenseman, chipping in a little bit offensively and just being reliable in the D-zone as well.
Being from Chicago, how many family and friends do you have in the stands on a typical night?
Definitely not as many as Jack Drury usually has, that’s for sure. My mom and dad are still here in Chicago and then a couple of buddies that I grew up with and went to high school with are working corporate jobs now tend to show up.
I’m just really fortunate to have some people that are still local in Chicago that can support me and cheer me on.”
How much do you train in the offseason? Have you been on the ice much?
I’ve been out a few times already. After the season ended, I took two or three weeks to kind of just let my body rest a little bit. But I’m definitely back into the swing of things now and I’m just really looking forward to September.”
Coming next week: Part 2.