International Ice Hockey Federation

Great Dane

Great Dane

Green breaks Danish record for games played

Published 15.05.2014 12:11 GMT+3 | Author Peter Westermark
Great Dane
Danish captain Morten Green stickhandles the puck away from Italy’s Alexander Egger. Photo: Richard Wolowicz / HHOF-IIHF Images
When Denmark’s captain Morten Green takes the ice in this afternoon’s game versus Canada it will be his 257th game with the national team.

”This is pretty big, it’s something that I’m happy and proud of,” Green told ”For me, it’s always been an easy decision to come play for my country. I sometimes have a hard time understanding those who choose not to come. Everyone comes from somewhere.

”Playing for the national team is an honour and the least I can do to repay those who helped me forward.”

Holding the record up until today was previous captain Jepser Damgaard, an always-reliable two-way presence on defence, and one of Green’s best friends.

“He’s happy for me,” said Green of the defenceman who concluded his playing career three years ago. “But in a way, I feel it’s kind of a shame that I had to take the record from him. He deserves all the recognition he can get. But that’s the way it is.”

At the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, the now 33-year-old Green has been a part of Denmark’s team for each of the twelve tournaments that they have been in the top division, and a couple before that. Always an important part of the attack and a gifted playmaker, he has 13 goals and 31 assists in 70 top division games.

“I’ve had a lot of fun over the course of all these years and I’ve always been lucky to have a lot of good friends on the team. Also, I’ve been fortunate to avoid serious injuries in my career.”

Although he’s about to enter the Danish record books, the forward doesn’t see himself surpassing Finland’s Raimo Helminen (who has 331 games) as the player with the most games for the national team ever.

“No, he’ll get to keep that record,” laughs Green, who has a wife, a six-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter back at home. “Maybe I’ll go on for another couple of years, but these long seasons do take a toll on the family.

“I’ve always had a lot of support in doing this from my wife and I’m very thankful for that. I’ll try to stay on the team for as long as I can.”

When Green first arrived on the national team playing for the under-18 juniors, they were in what was then called the C-pool. The men’s national team was in the middle of the B-pool, now Division I. Since being promoted to the top division in 2002, Denmark has played in twelve straight top-level IIHF World Championship tournaments. Over the course of these years, Green has seen a big change in Danish hockey.

“Being in the top division gives us a lot more attention,” he said. “When we arrived here, we had one journalist here. Now it’s closer to twelve, including TV. The interest has grown a lot.”

And for a country with less than 20 rinks, having established themselves in the top division is quite remarkable in itself.

“We will never be Canada or Sweden,” he says. “And to become a top-level hockey player from Denmark, you almost have to move abroad to play.

“I moved to Sweden after I had finished high-school. I talked to Mikkel Boedker the other day about this, he moved to Frolunda [in Gothenburg, Sweden] when he was only 15. Nowadays, you also see guys moving to North America to play junior hockey. It takes a strong person to do that.”

Looking back, Green has been involved in a lot of key games for Denmark. In fact, he’s been involved in pretty much all of his country’s key games dating back to 1998. So, what does he count as the biggest win?

“It was when we won the promotion to the top division,” he stated. “That has been so important for Danish hockey. But if you look at an individual game, I’d say the 2-2 tie versus Canada in our first year in the top division in 2003 in Finland. They won the gold medals that year and for us to get a point from them that year was huge.”

Also, there are of course the relegation battles, where Denmark has found a way to remain in the top division.

“I have been a part of so many games where we have played for our top division status. So, it’s a natural progression for me to share that experience [as a captain]”, Green said. “I hope that I’m able to help my younger teammates along.”

For Denmark, which has three points going into their fourth game against Canada, the experience Green brings to the table can be crucial.


Back to Overview

Official Partners 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship