Sunday’s game vs the Red Wings would usually mark one of the high points in a regular season for Kings’ defenseman Matt Greene. He grew up in Grand Ledge, about 90 minutes west of Detroit and also spent time with the U.S. National Development Program (based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan) prior to being drafted in 2002. So, games at Joe Louis Arena are somewhat of a homecoming for the 29-year old.
However, he won’t need his usual stack of tickets this time around. Greene is laid up about 2,000 miles away from his teammates at the moment, recovering in Los Angeles from back surgery performed a few weeks ago.
It’s just the latest setback for the 6-foot-3 defenseman, in what’s been an unusually frustrating time since winning his first Stanley Cup last June.
Things started out well enough, as soon after the Cup parties ended Greene and his girlfriend joined Davis Drewiske and his wife for a little European vacation. They went to a big music festival, where they saw Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, Elbow and Band of Skulls among others. Oh, and Greene popped the question while they were over there. Fortunately, she said yes and the two are now engaged.
Then came the NHL lockout, which had Greene climbing the walls. He worked out in Los Angeles for months, just waiting for the two sides to reach an agreement.
Like a modern day superhero, he’s almost the tale of two people.
On the ice he’s tenacious, mean and in your face. He takes his job seriously and is proud to have been an alternate captain for the past four seasons. Although he doesn’t show up much in the goal or assist columns, Greene is usually among the team’s nightly leaders in hits and blocked shots.
Off the ice is a different story. While he’s not completely quiet, like a shy rookie might be, Greene definitely hides in the weeds and picks his spots. He claims to be boring, but we have proof that says he’s far from it – like the time he called out Dustin Penner for stealing his jokes or offered up tattoo ideas for some of his teammates.
Even though he’s asked all the time about joining twitter, and denies he’ll ever do it – on more than one occasion he’s admitted to MayorsManor that he is a bit of a social media lurker.
“Maybe every once and a while I’ll check it out when I’m bored,” he’s secretly told us.
But, perhaps the most honest revelation came when we recently asked him if he had learned anything about himself during the lockout.
“I don’t have a lot of skills to thrive in the outside world,” Greene said. “So, I’m very thankful that I play hockey for a living because I would be hard felt to find a job out of manual labor – which is a very good living and very well respected. But, I would definitely not call myself a skilled person in any other aspect of life.”
Since he won’t be on the ice again any time soon, maybe now is the perfect opportunity to take up a hobby or two, add some additional skills to that resume for his post-playing days.
One skill that he’s certainly not interested in though is becoming a wedding planner. According to what Greene told us here, he’s leaving that all up to his fiance.
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