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Guest Grayne Wetzky

Evaluating the Rafalski "Deal"

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I'm really weary of the talk about his offensive numbers. Sure they're sexy if you're into that kinda stuff. I really don't want a Mike Green on my team. I'd prefer a D-man who can play D first - offense is secondary IMHO.

Sure he throws up some nice numbers tho I wouldn't call him a 'huge piece of the puzzle'. I always thought he was more suited to NJ where he'd get cattleproded if he went past the neutral zone other than on the PP. Never thought he was the best fit for us.

And that's my diplomatic response.

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I'm really weary of the talk about his offensive numbers. Sure they're sexy if you're into that kinda stuff. I really don't want a Mike Green on my team. I'd prefer a D-man who can play D first - offense is secondary IMHO.

Sure he throws up some nice numbers tho I wouldn't call him a 'huge piece of the puzzle'. I always thought he was more suited to NJ where he'd get cattleproded if he went past the neutral zone other than on the PP. Never thought he was the best fit for us.

And that's my diplomatic response.

How is he not a huge piece of the puzzle on a team that drives our offense from outlet passing? We have five defensemen (six if you count Kindl in the press box) that are defense-first, yet three of them (Ericsson, Stuart, and Kindl) can't make 50% of their outlet passes to allow our forwards to make a meaningful entry into our offensive zone.

Rafalski is and has been a huge part of making the Red Wings the Red Wings since the lockout; without him and Lidstrom playing the point and making their outlet passes, the Wings don't score as much as they do.

It'll be interesting to see what people think when we don't have a great passing defenseman like Rafalski and instead have someone like Kindl or Ericsson in his place; this is really a case of "you don't know what you have until it's gone".

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After the Wings took the cup in 2008, I was of the opinion that this signing was a great one. However, he's been hurt a lot since then and has shown himself to be very weak on the puck when the play gets tough in the playoffs. I'm not so sure that the Wings made a good move by giving this guy a 5 year deal. Whacha think?

Rafalski is our best offensive defenseman right now. No disrespect to Lidstrom, but when he's healthy Rafalski is probably our best.

I agree, his injuries have sidelines him, but how can you question a five year deal made before he was injured?

That is callous, and doesn't make sense. You cannot predict an injury. It is a risk you have to take. Any player can get injured.

Simply because he is now injury ridden a bit, when we signed him he was not. You can't invest in something for 5 years, and when it goes bunk up the arse 3 years later, you can say "Ope, bad investment", but if you had invested in something that skyrocketed 3 years later, you'd say "Ope, great investment".

The difference in the two is entirely intangibles that could not have been forseen.

To say, it's not working out as planned, is fine. To say it was a bad investment, you cannot look at NOW versus when we made the investment. When we made it, it was a good investment.

Investments, imply, a chance of failure. Go find me one player in the NHL, who absolutely has no chance of injury.

We invested in Datsyuk for years as well. What if he gets injured at the start of next year? What if he misses three seasons? Was it a bad investment? Or just a failed one?

Rafalski is incredibly good, and will easily take Lidstroms spot for defensive scoring on our team.

Sure, he's injured. But he's worth keeping. When Lidstrom goes, Rafalski will be our best offensive defenseman, and will have worked with and under Lidstrom for years.

He is a good investment. Even if it doesn't work out, yes, I believe he was a good investment.

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I wish we could have signed him for less, but we need him. He's had some bad moments in some big games that hurts his team (even in the Olympics). As long as he has a good/strong defensive partner I think its ok. At the end of the day we need him on this team. Now Big E is not looking as good as I would have hoped. He has some good games but I feel he hasn't turned out as we hoped. And Helm blew his coverage on the 3rd goal last night.

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Rafalski was a major bargain and huge upgrade over Schneider at the time of the deal. Now he is on par for his wage. Everyone ALWAYS wants a bargain, but you can't always get it. Sometimes guys get paid exactly what their market value is i.e. Rafalski/Filppula.

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if a cup cost 5 years and 30 million I will take it any day of the week

Yah, I'm kind of torn, too, because that's really the skinny of it. We fricking won right after signing him. I think we still could have won if we had spent the money elsewhere, but we did win the cup in 2008. Hard to argue with scoreboard. I think we should be more upset with the coach for not switching him out when the opponent is one that he shouldn't be playing against.

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I can't complain about the deal looking at the long term. Could we use the cap space to sign a better defensemen now? Sure. But couldn't back then.

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It was a good deal when it was made. No one expected after 3 straight years of the salary cap increasing that the world economy would collapse and teams were going to have cap problems. Is he breaking down a little sooner than they had anticipated? Probably yes. He will be a 3rd D pairing next season and a PP specialist. If he is back after that, it won't be for $6 mill per year.

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It was a good deal when it was made. No one expected after 3 straight years of the salary cap increasing that the world economy would collapse and teams were going to have cap problems. Is he breaking down a little sooner than they had anticipated? Probably yes. He will be a 3rd D pairing next season and a PP specialist. If he is back after that, it won't be for $6 mill per year.

he wont be a 3rd pairing.....

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