Former Danish captain remains a class act
by John Sanful|11 MAY 2018

Morten Green celebrates Denmark's shootout-winning goal against Slovakia at his last IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship last year in Cologne.

photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Last year, Morten Green retired from international competition. Denmark’s former captain has been with the national team since it was competing for a place into the top group of World Championship competition. As a member of the national team since 1998, Green has seen the rise of Danish hockey and the development of its players. In 86 games among the World Championship elite, Green scored 16 goals and had 52 points. Green took some time to speak with us and share what he’s up to, his memories playing for Denmark, and what the future holds.
Since retiring from the national team last year after the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship what are you up to now?
I played this past season here in Denmark. It was my last season as a professional. I’m at the World Championship this year providing television commentary as an analyst for TV 2 Sport.
Do you miss representing the national team?
I was sure it was the right decision when I stopped playing for the national team. I felt that I didn’t have that level in me anymore. I miss being on the line after the game singing the national anthem, I miss my teammates, but I don’t miss playing the game. 
Denmark has improved a lot over the years in international competition.
It is something to be proud of, for sure. When I started on the national team we were in the B group and weren’t close to making it to the A group. Then we did, and now here we are 16 years later and Denmark is still in the A group. That is just amazing for such a small hockey country as ours. And now to organize and host a World Championship at home, that is just great. 
What’s your proudest moment playing for Denmark?
When we won the B group to make it into the A group. I just love that memory. We went in with a young team and no one expected us to make a good result. We beat them all and made it to the A group. Some of the guys I played with on that team are still my best friends today. I really enjoyed thinking about that moment when we earned promotion. 
Then in 2003, Denmark’s first game in the top group against Team USA was memorable.
That’s another game that you have to pick out as a standout for Denmark. That was a big moment for Danish hockey beating the Americans. If we hadn’t won that game, I am pretty sure we would have been relegated. We would have been in the relegation round and since Japan couldn’t go out, I am pretty sure we would have been one of the teams leaving. That win was so important. Without it the fairy tale that is Danish hockey would not be the same. 
Do you remember the game against Japan at the 2004 tournament in the Czech Republic?
I couldn't forget that. We played some terrible hockey in 2004. We won 4-3 against Japan in the deciding game in the group with an own goal by Japan. We couldn't believe the Japanese player shot the puck in his own net. I'd never seen anything like it. That was just a classic in hockey history. It has been a ride with ups and downs for sure. 
How much has the player profile changed for Denmark?

It is a totally different world now than it was back then. In 2003, we probably had four or five pro guys playing, none in the NHL. We had some players in Sweden and Germany. Now the lowest ranked players are in Sweden and Germany and a number of players in the NHL, so it is a totally different team today. Obviously, the youth program has developed so have many good players who have changed the fortunes of Danish hockey as well.
Do you want to coach?
I don’t think so. I am actually going to start working as an agent with the company that has been representing me my entire career. They offered me a job that will start after the tournament. It will be exciting going into that world and learning a lot. Hopefully, I will be able to help a lot of young guys make the right decisions in their careers. I will be able to speak to them and help them using my experience as a player. I think this will be exciting for me. 
You’ve know this Denmark team better than most. Were you surprised by their win over Finland?
It didn’t surprise me they beat Finland. I thought they had a pretty good chance to win because Finland has so many top players but their depth is not as good as the Americans or Canada. I thought of those three teams Finland offered Denmark the best chance for a win. Denmark probably has the strongest team on paper that they’ve ever brought to this tournament so I believe they will make it to the quarter-finals. And if they make it to the quarter-finals, I don’t think any team will enjoy playing Team Denmark on home ice.