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Rafalski Considered "top six signings since the 2005-06 season"


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#1 cjm502

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 06:37 PM

Link to Article

Some teams spend their money more wisely than others when it comes to free agency -- it's a fact that's impossible to argue when you take a closer look at the contracts that have been signed over the years.

As the free-agent market is set to open on Thursday at noon ET, NHL.com takes a closer look at the top six signings, by position, since the 2005-06 season:

Brian Rafalski, Detroit Red Wings -- Looking for the perfect complement on the blue line alongside Nicklas Lidstrom, GM Ken Holland found his man on July 1, 2007.

Rafalski, a Michigan native, agreed to leave New Jersey and return home as he signed a five-year deal worth $30 million to play for Detroit. He set a new career-high in goals the following season (13) and helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2008. Detroit returned to the Stanley Cup Final a year later, only to lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games. He had 8 goals and 34 assists last season before tallying 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists) in 12 playoff games.

"It was a difficult decision leaving New Jersey, the only team I've known, but I'm coming home to play for the team I grew up watching," Rafalski said after signing with the Wings. "To have this opportunity, is a dream."


This is a little to funny to not share.

Edited by cjm502, 29 June 2010 - 06:38 PM.

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#2 titanium2

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 06:40 PM

Yeah, haha. Perfect article for LGW.

#3 HankthaTank

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 06:41 PM

*facepalm* Hossa... Really?
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#4 edicius

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 07:05 PM

*facepalm* Hossa... Really?


Yeah, it's a bit early to call Hossa one of the top signings, I'd think.

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#5 HankthaTank

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 07:14 PM

Yeah, it's a bit early to call Hossa one of the top signings, I'd think.

Should be omitted considering the team hopping the clown does, regardless of the Cup win this year :angry:
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#6 RedWingedKitten

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 07:15 PM

The year we signed Raffy we won the Stanley Cup. It is what it is, you do that signing over and over.

#7 SouthernWingsFan

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 07:59 PM

Yeah, haha. Perfect article for LGW.

Sadly, members will have "fun" with this thread.

#8 Doc Holliday

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 08:03 PM

*facepalm* Hossa... Really?


You know Hossa's 3 goals and solid defensive play are what put Chicago over the edge.

You'd be a fool to think otherwise.


Yes I'm being sarcastic.

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#9 cjm502

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 08:06 PM

Sadly, members will have "fun" with this thread.

Im not even a big Raffi hater, I just figured some certain members here would love seeing this.
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#10 Z and D for the C

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 08:42 PM

You mean an objective view of the Rafalski signing? Not influenced by homerism and those who blame him for everything? MUST be wrong.

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#11 RedWingAbner

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 09:11 PM

Who wrote the article, Mommy Rafalski?


The year we signed Raffy we won the Stanley Cup. It is what it is, you do that signing over and over.


Yeah, I also lived in a craphole rental in New Port Richey, FL. Should I go back because they won the Cup that year? I know it's an extreme example, but people become almost religious about moves made during a Cup year. Sometimes, a team wins in spite of them. Rafalski was good that year and has mostly been an offensive #5 defenseman made to look better by Nick Lidstrom since then....with glaring defensive lapses. I'd rather have signed Schneider to the 2-year deal.

Edited by RedWingAbner, 29 June 2010 - 09:12 PM.


#12 Booster313

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 09:13 PM

Raf was a solid pickup... I think he's over paid by about a million or so dollars a year though... Doesn't sound like much but in a cap world it can make all the difference.

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#13 Zetts

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 09:26 PM

Yeah, I also lived in a craphole rental in New Port Richey, FL. Should I go back because they won the Cup that year? I know it's an extreme example, but people become almost religious about moves made during a Cup year.

Clearly comparable to the defenseman who played 24:53 a game when we won the Cup.

He was great for us. He also put up 14 points in 22 games. Not bad for a defenseman. Oh, and that's also more than Lidstrom.

Edited by Zetts, 29 June 2010 - 09:28 PM.


#14 Carman

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 09:29 PM

Rafalski is one of the best offensive defensemen in the league.

He might be overpaid, but it's not egregious. And overpayment tends to happen when you sign elite players when they are a free agent in their prime.

#15 MissyLKS8

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 09:46 PM

Wait... now when did the Rafalski hating start?
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#16 eva unit zero

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 11:06 PM

Rafalski is one of the top offensive defensemen in the NHL. He also is underrated defensively (well above average), and his defensive game has declined since he joined the team. Realistically, he's one of the top 15-20 defensemen in the NHL, and he gets paid like it. Compare his salary to other defensemen making a little less or a little more. He's typically in their range, unless you look at a guy like Keith. But Keith signed as an RFA, so you would expect his salary to be less; UFA status will drive a player's salary up simply by its nature.

The one I would question seriously is Craig Anderson. Really? Yes, he played well for them this season. But he is far from the best goalie signing post-lockout.

Chris Osgood for pennies to play like Terry Sawchuk and Jacques Plante fused together for two consecutive postseasons? That's a pretty good one.

St. Louis signing Chris Mason after Nashville dumped him on the heap is a good one, given how well he's done for them and the number of games he's won for them. Very underrated, and worth all the praise given to Anderson in Colorado except Mason deserves it for multiple seasons.

Probably the best, though? June 1st, 2006: 28-year old undrafted free agent goaltender Niklas Bäckström signs a contract with the Minnesota Wild. He spent the 2006-07 splitting time with Manny Fernandez, putting up 23 wins, a .929 sv% and a 1.97 GAA in 36 starts. He played so well, starter Manny Fernandez was traded. Backstrom has been a consistent Vezina contender over the past few seasons. In his career he has played 230 games, posted a 119W-68L-30OTL record with 19SO, a .918sv% and a 2.37 GAA. Last season was his first season below .920sv% or above 2.33 GAA, and the first time he won fewer games than he lost (including OTL) so it is more than likely a fluke season.

And what about Rich Peverley at center? He's scored 110 points in 194 games between Nashville and Atlanta. He's made a total of about $2.5m in his career doing so over a total of about 3 1/2 seasons after signing his first NHL contract, and he's only signed for a cap hit of $1.325 this coming season. Savard may be a better player overall, but Peverly is the only forward who cost less than $10,000 per point last season (1 point per $8,864) and over his career he's scored about 1 point for every $44k, which is what Chicago got out of Patrick Kane this season and significantly less than most top forwards will give you. Think about it; if a $3.5m dollar second liner produced at that rate, he'd be scoring 80 points. A 7m dollar first liner would be scoring 160 points.

Definitely a better signing than Savard, despite the fact Savard is one of the league's top playmaking centers. Peverley is very underrated and is about where Savard was 4-5 years ago performance-wise.

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#17 Heroes of Hockeytown

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 11:11 PM

Rafalski was good that year and has mostly been an offensive #5 defenseman made to look better by Nick Lidstrom since then....with glaring defensive lapses.

You could say the same thing about most defensemen in comparison to Lidstrom, really. I know Rafalski is not a defensive stalwart but he still gives the Wings one of the best #1 defensive pairings in the NHL. What teams do you think can ice a better pairing than Lidstrom-Rafalski? Chicago (Keith-Seabrook) and Philadelphia (Pronger-Timmonen) I would certainly give you. After that, maybe Nashville (Weber-Suter)? LA possibly is upcoming with Doughty but I don't think he has a strong enough partner yet to be considered for one of the best pairings in the league.

And compared to a lot of other free agent acquisitions intended to be a top pairing Dman, Rafalski is a wonder. See: Jay Bouwmeester, Brian Campbell, Wade Redden, Bryan McCabe, Sheldon Souray, Ed Jovanovski, Lubomir Visnovsky.

I'd rather have signed Schneider to the 2-year deal.

I think your memory is a bit hazy then. Schneider was criticized for basically everything that Rafalski is now: being turnover prone and generally weak defensively. But Schneider is also older and more injury prone.
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#18 RedWingAbner

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 08:14 AM

I think your memory is a bit hazy then. Schneider was criticized for basically everything that Rafalski is now: being turnover prone and generally weak defensively. But Schneider is also older and more injury prone.


Yes, but Schneider would be gone by now and a better option would present itself or we could at least go in a different direction. Are you really happy that we have two more powderpuff seasons from Rafalski at $6M per season?

Clearly comparable to the defenseman who played 24:53 a game when we won the Cup.

He was great for us. He also put up 14 points in 22 games. Not bad for a defenseman. Oh, and that's also more than Lidstrom.


I was making a point--that just because something happened in a Cup year, it doesn't mean that you had to revere it as "the reason" or "a reason."

Points, as we have discussed many times on these forums, aren't the only evaluation. Let's be frank. Would you take Rafalski over Lidstrom in 2008? Don't think so.

#19 Heroes of Hockeytown

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 09:17 AM

Yes, but Schneider would be gone by now and a better option would present itself or we could at least go in a different direction.

And signed who? Maybe one of those free agent disasters I mentioned?

Are you really happy that we have two more powderpuff seasons from Rafalski at $6M per season?

If he puts in another season of play similar to 08 or 09, then yes. He wasn't that great last season but bear in mind neither was any Red Wing. If I'm going to cut Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Lidstrom some slack because of injuries then Rafalski is getting the benefit of the doubt too.

I was making a point--that just because something happened in a Cup year, it doesn't mean that you had to revere it as "the reason" or "a reason."

It was a lousy point then, because Rafalski was definitely a reason Detroit won that year.
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#20 Frozen-Man

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 09:32 AM

Yeah, I also lived in a craphole rental in New Port Richey, FL. Should I go back because they won the Cup that year? I know it's an extreme example, but people become almost religious about moves made during a Cup year. Sometimes, a team wins in spite of them. Rafalski was good that year and has mostly been an offensive #5 defenseman made to look better by Nick Lidstrom since then....with glaring defensive lapses. I'd rather have signed Schneider to the 2-year deal.



I was making a point--that just because something happened in a Cup year, it doesn't mean that you had to revere it as "the reason" or "a reason."


That is not an extreme example it is a ludicrous one. Good or bad Rafalski playing almost 25 minutes per game had a real, definate, and tangible impact on the Red Wings, their season, their playoff run, and their hoisting the Cup. Your living in a rental property did not. We are not discussing superstitions here, like not washing your jersey after a win, but merely stating that our #2 D-man who had the second most TOI of anyone on the team playing nearly half of every game did have an impact. Any such comparison is just plain silly.

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