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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : sports : sports October 13, 2015

1/2/2008 8:03:00 PM
Column: It's tough to see 'Greener' move on
The Daily Courier/Les StukenbergChris Greene hands his stick to a lucky fan at a home game in this Dec. 8, 2006, file photo. A fan favorite and one of the original Sundogs, Greene was dealt to Wichita on Wednesday.

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The Daily Courier/
Les Stukenberg
Chris Greene hands his stick to a lucky fan at a home game in this Dec. 8, 2006, file photo. A fan favorite and one of the original Sundogs, Greene was dealt to Wichita on Wednesday.

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Brad Fuqua
The Daily Courier

As the news spread on Wednesday, local hockey fans couldn't believe that No. 19 had been traded.

Disbelief and even anger were among the emotions fans experienced upon word of Chris Greene's trade to the Wichita Thunder. Greene himself still couldn't believe that he was leaving the Sundogs organization.

"It's going to be pretty hard. I'm still kind of in shock right now," Greene said. "I still feel like it's got to catch up with me."

Greene found out about his trade to Wichita for forward Tyler Liebel when he showed up for work Wednesday morning at Tim's Toyota Center.

"I met a lot of great people here and the Sundogs made me a better person and improved my hockey game since I've been here," Greene said. "It's a great organization and it's not the easiest thing to leave."

In classic Greene style, he didn't have a bad word in the world to say about the Prescott Valley hockey club just hours after learning the news. Part of the family since the franchise's inception, Greene sounded a bit distraught during a phone interview on Wednesday afternoon.

Undoubtedly, Greene is sad to be leaving. A positive is that he plans to see more time and hopefully score more points during his stint in Wichita. And because of that, perhaps he'll get a few more looks from the next level.

Speaking for myself, it's hard to see "Greener" move on. The Sundogs have completed dozens of transactions over the past 1 1/2 seasons but this one is a little more difficult to digest.

During my time as beat reporter for the team, I've interviewed the upstate New York native countless times. I watched the fans embrace him on many levels on and off the ice. I caught glimpses of female fans holding up homemade posters asking for his hand in marriage. And like everyone else, I felt so bad when I learned the news about the death of his brother during last year's playoffs.

When asked what he will take away from his Sundog experience, Greene said he realizes that he's grown up "hockey-wise" here in Prescott Valley.

"I definitely matured as a hockey player here through Marco," Greene said, referring to Coach Pietroniro. "Along with maturity, I've lived hockey pretty much inside and out on the ice and off the ice. I learned new aspects to the game of hockey, good things about the game.

"There's no negativity, nothing I can say about the Sundogs," he added.

Pietroniro said Greene wasn't quite getting the type of ice time that he should. Despite that, he leaves the organization with nearly as many points this season in 28 games that he had last year in 63 games.

I spent time with "Greener" last summer while he worked at a local hot tub business and worked out in Harry Selkow's weight room/garage. He wanted to score more points, contribute in more ways to his team and improve his stock in the sport.

"I think I'm having a better year this year than last year," he said. "I feel like I got out of a little bit of a slump and I'm coming around just now. ... It feels like I'm progressing."

Greene scored 3 goals and 18 assists with Arizona this season. Last year in 35 more games, he scored 5 goals and tallied 20 assists.

One major difference to his game revolves around penalty minutes. His time in the box is down significantly this season - about half - with a total of 27 penalty minutes, or 1.5 per game. In 2006-07, he had 182 penalty minutes, or 2.9 per game.

"That's one thing I wanted to work on coming into this season," he said. "I think I concentrated too much (last year) on being the agitator and all that stuff rather than just playing me. I wanted to come in this year and actually play the game, try to balance the agitator side with the playing hockey side. I'm still transitioning from that right now."

Greene will be missed by his coaches. Pietroniro asked me to come to his office on Wednesday morning to share news of the trade. That's the first time he's done that when it comes to player transactions. Although this was likely a difficult trade to make, Pietroniro and the rest of the staff must make these types of decisions to bring a championship to Prescott Valley. Or, as the coach says, "win the last game."

Without a chance to wish him well, I hope the fans give Greene a real nice welcome and chant his name one more time on Jan. 18 when the Thunder visit Tim's Toyota Center.

In all probability, Greene will enjoy his return.

"They're the best fans in the world," he said. "I couldn't ask for more support. It's just an incredible feeling being around them."

Best of luck, Greener.

Related Stories:
• Sundogs deal Chris Greene to Wichita

Related Links:
• Wichita Thunder

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, January 04, 2008
Article comment by: Mark 40 year hockey fan

It was about time Chris Greene was traded or released. He lacks the fundamental stick handling skills of accurate passing and shooting and catching passes to play at the AA level. The flip shot into the corner and being a heart throb for teenage girls will not carry a player to the AAA level. His countless bad decisions of leaving the ice when checking (charging penalty) and goalie interference penalties cost his team too many times. Finally, much better players have been released over the past year and a half such as Trebian, Mowbray, Mehalko, Rodrigue, Chinelli, Moreland, and Bartlett and it's time to start hanging onto the better players. Jonathan Bernier, who is even less skilled than Greene, should be traded or released, too. This Sundog team is on the verge of being the most dominate team in the CHL, all they need is consistency from all their players.

Posted: Friday, January 04, 2008
Article comment by: Wanda

Yo Ted! So what if Brad is a sappy homer? Columns are for opinions and he gave his. I agree, Chris will be missed by many.

Posted: Friday, January 04, 2008
Article comment by: ted

Greene wasn't getting the ice time he should??? Are you a reporter or a sappy homer? He sucked as a hockey player and got way too much time. Adios!

Posted: Friday, January 04, 2008
Article comment by: Dan Mortensen

I dont like the trade. I think Chris is an excellent player and is awesome to watch. He will be missed. I look forward to seeing him on the 18th.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2008
Article comment by: Sundog fan!!!!!!!!!!

I think it was a bad decision to trade Chris Greene because all he will do is make the other team better and the Arizona Sundogs lose because they lost a family member and he is a good player but we will see how it turns out for us. This was a big lost for me and the fans of the Arizona Sundogs!! My wishes to Chris Greene are to kick butt and not to give up. My cheer to Wichita on the 18th is START THE BUS, LEAVE CHRIS GREENE!!!!!!!!! I think all SUNDOGS FANS need to chant this and show how much we support CHRIS!!!!!

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