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MacK_Attack

Brian Rafalski announces retirement after 11 NHL seasons

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How do you guys feel about this lineup? I know we dont add much size up front but we do add speed with mursak and a ton of good skill with Fleishman. On the back end we add depth and a physical presence in Wiz, while we add the skill, puck moving ability, and pp play in pitkanen to try and replace what we lose in Rafalski. what do you think?

I don't like this team with Hudler on it at all, BUT I am all for getting Wisniewski and another UFA D-man to make our D the best in the league, so if that means spending most of the Cap on a D paring (along with Lids coming back) then I can endure Hudler again (:puke: ...oh, excuse me) and as long as we have a few million left over for Trade Deadline help, if needed...

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Kind of scary to think they'd go after Jovanovski

Depends on the cap hit. Wouldnt be the worse thing in the world. I would rather offer him a short filler contract than over paying some of the other names out there.

Also, I hear Helm needs a roommate.

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Kind of scary to think they'd go after Jovanovski

For what it's worth, those who may not know how Jovo-cop plays:

Jovanovski is known as a two-way defenceman. Able to contribute offensively, he is an adept puck-carrier and joins plays deep in the opposing team's zone. He plays defence physically, bodychecking opponents primarily with his shoulder. In both aspects of his game, he is considered to play with a high level of risk, taking the chance of being out of position in favour of a good scoring chance or a hit.

He is a good player overall, but takes too many risks that create problems. Could playing on a team like the Wings bring him more discipline? It's hard to teach an old dog tricks, as they say. Overall, he was more solid in his Vancouver days.. so being on a good team overall may help him.

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Depends on the cap hit. Wouldnt be the worse thing in the world. I would rather offer him a short filler contract than over paying some of the other names out there.

Also, I hear Helm needs a roommate.

What you did there, I see it.

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I think those that are jumping for joy at Raffi leaving should look at the stats. When you have a defenseman that is ranked in the top 12 for 4 of the 5 seasons he played in Detroit, wouldn't you have an "oh crap" moment? Especially considering you aren't going to be able to replace that production? Maybe instead of replacing the points, you add in hard nosed defensemen. Then you win more low scoring games.

Allows the majority of this board to play their favorite game, "ARMCHAIR GM", which they are more than entitled to obviously. Just almost seems like they got handed the 6 million and haven't thought about the puck controlling, point machine we just lost. A declining one yes, but also a great leader and example for the younger dmen like Smith coming up. Hopefully he takes a front office job or something to that effect.

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Allows the majority of this board to play their favorite game, "ARMCHAIR GM", which they are more than entitled to obviously. Just almost seems like they got handed the 6 million and haven't thought about the puck controlling, point machine we just lost. A declining one yes, but also a great leader and example for the younger dmen like Smith coming up. Hopefully he takes a front office job or something to that effect.

Am I glad that's he's injured and decided that he can no longer play? No. But seeing as how that is the case, I'm glad that he decided to move on rather than linger around and be a hindrance defensively and financially.

The reality is that he can no longer play at the level he wants to be at, so we should be thankful that he made the right decision and happy for him as he moves into a new phase of his life. There's nothing wrong with that.

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Why aren't there other choices like Markov, Wisniewski, Brewer, Ehrhoff?

Best bang for the buck might be Wisniewski or Ehroff. I'm sure Kenny is on top of this. He probably knows more than you and me.

Wisniewski 10G 41A

Rafalski 4G 44A

You can replace his point production with one guy. I know Wis played 12 games more but it's close ...

Look over the long term. Wisniewski had one good season. Rafalski has had many more than that.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8470222

http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8467856

There is no comparison.

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Am I glad that's he's injured and decided that he can no longer play? No. But seeing as how that is the case, I'm glad that he decided to move on rather than linger around and be a hindrance defensively and financially.

The reality is that he can no longer play at the level he wants to be at, so we should be thankful that he made the right decision and happy for him as he moves into a new phase of his life. There's nothing wrong with that.

Yep, and all the points in here I have also stated are something we are going to gain from his stepping away from the game. That 6 million is a huge help and will be certainly utilized to make us better. Some are a bit too celebratory about this but oh well.

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Jovo is wearing down, missed lots of time with Phoenix this year.

We can afford Ehroff and Wiz with Ericsson comming back at about $2.5 mill if priced right.

With Ericsson gone we can easily afford Ehroff/Wiz. Which is the best case scenario for me.

Then if Lids retires after next year and we get Brent Burns...

Burns - Kronwall

Ehroff - Smith

Stuart - Wiz

Kindl?

Nice.

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Look over the long term. Wisniewski had one good season. Rafalski has had many more than that.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8470222

http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8467856

There is no comparison.

I really cringe at the thought of signing Wisniewski for $4 million or more to a long term contract. I'm just not sold on him long term.

Edited by wingsownnhl43
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Then if Lids retires after next year and we get Brent Burns...

Burns - Kronwall

Ehroff - Smith

Stuart - Wiz

Kindl?

Nice.

Whoa... clap.gif

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Jovo is wearing down, missed lots of time with Phoenix this year.

We can afford Ehroff and Wiz with Ericsson comming back at about $2.5 mill if priced right.

With Ericsson gone we can easily afford Ehroff/Wiz. Which is the best case scenario for me.

Then if Lids retires after next year and we get Brent Burns...

Burns - Kronwall

Ehroff - Smith

Stuart - Wiz

Kindl?

Nice.

That does look nice.

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Jovo is wearing down, missed lots of time with Phoenix this year.

We can afford Ehroff and Wiz with Ericsson comming back at about $2.5 mill if priced right.

With Ericsson gone we can easily afford Ehroff/Wiz. Which is the best case scenario for me.

Then if Lids retires after next year and we get Brent Burns...

Burns - Kronwall

Ehroff - Smith

Stuart - Wiz

Kindl?

Nice.

If Nik retires next year, and with Nashville signing Weber this year Suter would be a viable option.

pucktividi likes this

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As much as I didn't like Rafalski making $6M the past season, there's no one as offensively talented as him out there. The guy consistently put up great numbers even when playing through injuries. We're going to miss his outlet passes. Here's to his great career. :thumbup:

I don't really know if I want to overpay for solid, but not marquee defensemen in this year's UFA pool. We could come up with a stopgap solution and shell out a ton of money next season when potentially Weber, Burns and Suter can be unrestricted.

The problem though is that we may only have Nick for one year (assuming he comes back--he couldn't retire now, could he? :nervous:) So we still need to make a last run at the Cup.

I highly doubt Weber's going anywhere. But, if he's still a RFA come July 1, I say we offer him a front-loaded 10-12 year contract for $7.5M. That way, it's just below the cutoff for giving up 4 first round picks. We would have to give up 2 firsts, a second, and a third. Nashville will probably match, but I say it's still worth a try and the compensation would be worth it. It would also provide a major spark to our team next season.

What's the harm in trying? At worst, our hands are a bit tied the first two days of free agency if we want to sign another defenseman.

Edited by Nevermind

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If Nik retires next year, and with Nashville signing Weber this year Suter would be a viable option.

Yeah, but i think Holland would go for the right handed shot. Suter/Burns would be great options. I'd prefer Burns tho IMO. Burns - Kronwall top pairing would be sick.

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I'm not sure if the Wings need to look for a Rafalski replacement.

I think the Wings hope that Kronwall feels a little more urgency to step up as the new #2 offensive dman, takes another significant step forward and then his production will help fill some of the gap missing from Rafalski's offense.

In that sense, what they might look for is a dman to produce 38-43 points that Kronwall did as he was the #3 dman, which makes guys like Ehrhoff and Bieksa look like some really ideal options right now.

wingsownnhl43 and HankthaTank like this

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I'm not sure if the Wings need to look for a Rafalski replacement.

I think the Wings hope that Kronwall feels a little more urgency to step up as the new #2 offensive dman, takes another significant step forward and then his production will help fill some of the gap missing from Rafalski's offense.

In that sense, what they might look for is a dman to produce 38-43 points that Kronwall did as he was the #3 dman, which makes guys like Ehrhoff and Bieksa look like some really ideal options right now.

This. Hopefully our options are Ehrhoff, Bieksa, or trade. I am not really going wild about the other UFA's. You make a great point about Kronwall's progression. He showed us his ability to be a top pairing defenseman this playoffs. Hopefully he continues to improve and eases the blow of losing Rafalski and eventually Lidstrom.

Red Wings Addict likes this

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This. Hopefully our options are Ehrhoff, Bieksa, or trade. I am not really going wild about the other UFA's. You make a great point about Kronwall's progression. He showed us his ability to be a top pairing defenseman this playoffs. Hopefully he continues to improve and eases the blow of losing Rafalski and eventually Lidstrom.

I think Wiz is a good fit as a number 3 guy for the wings. He produces 50 points this year and is still young, that is a good chunk of offense. He is a right handed boomer from the point on the PP and can help make the wings have an even more feared defense when it comes to laying guys out. A defense of Stuart, Kronwall and Wiz would be deadly to other forwards who like to keep their head down. Wiz will protect his goalie as well. Hes a Detroit kid too, I really think we will see him in a wings uniform next season.

They actually have the money to sign 2 solid defenseman with Rafalski leaving, cap increase and some other money (Drapes, Modonna) coming off the books. If they could sign Wiz and Bieksa they would have the toughest D (arguably) in the league. Another guy I wouldn't mind is Pitkanen. Wiz and Pitkanen could easily replace the loss of Rafalski and than some.

Plus picture having this too look forward to when Tootoo runs a wings player...

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Just playing around on capgeek. How about signing Ehrhoff, and trading Hudler in a package for Bogosian. It's been rumored that the Red Wings have discussed acquiring him internally, but have never actually reached out to Atlanta.

With this, we replace Rafalski with Ehrhoff, add a big right handed shot in Bogosian, and we add two defenseman under 30 to the roster in the process. Being that Hudler and Bogosian have a similar cap hit, the Wings would be left with over $6 million to add 3 forwards.

It sucks losing Rafalski, but man did it leave the Wings with a ton of flexibility. It sure is fun to speculate.

CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR

FORWARDS

Tomas Holmstrom ($1.875m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Valtteri Filppula ($3.000m)

Todd Bertuzzi ($1.937m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Johan Franzen ($3.954m)

Daniel Cleary ($2.800m) / Darren Helm ($0.912m) / Patrick Eaves ($0.900m)

Jan Mursak ($0.550m) / Justin Abdelkader ($0.787m)

DEFENSEMEN

Nicklas Lidstrom ($6.200m) / Niklas Kronwall ($3.000m)

Christian Ehrhoff ($5.250m) / Zach Bogosian ($3.300m)

Brad Stuart ($3.750m) / Brendan Smith ($0.875m)

/ Jakub Kindl ($0.883m)

GOALTENDERS

Jimmy Howard ($2.250m) / Chris Osgood ($0.850m)

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)

(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)

SALARY CAP: $62,200,000; CAP PAYROLL: $55,858,711; BONUSES: $0

CAP SPACE (20-man roster): $6,341,289

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Plus picture having this too look forward to when Tootoo runs a wings player...

The last time that happened was over four years ago.

Edit: incidentally, that fight also happened nearly four years ago.

Just playing around on capgeek. How about signing Ehrhoff, and trading Hudler in a package for Bogosian. It's been rumored that the Red Wings have discussed acquiring him internally, but have never actually reached out to Atlanta.

Please do not make the mistake of thinking that other teams will line up to exchange their good players for our garbage.

Edited by Crymson
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Am I glad that's he's injured and decided that he can no longer play? No. But seeing as how that is the case, I'm glad that he decided to move on rather than linger around and be a hindrance defensively and financially.

The reality is that he can no longer play at the level he wants to be at, so we should be thankful that he made the right decision and happy for him as he moves into a new phase of his life. There's nothing wrong with that.

agreed. Raffi could have been a dick and decided to half ass his way through another season just to collect $6 million

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Jovo is wearing down, missed lots of time with Phoenix this year.

We can afford Ehroff and Wiz with Ericsson comming back at about $2.5 mill if priced right.

With Ericsson gone we can easily afford Ehroff/Wiz. Which is the best case scenario for me.

Then if Lids retires after next year and we get Brent Burns...

Burns - Kronwall

Ehroff - Smith

Stuart - Wiz

Kindl?

Nice.

That's an unreal defence right there. 5 guys capable of 30+ points, and Stuart being a wildcard. Not to mention, big mean and nasty. Think I'm gonna throw NHL11 in right about now.. :hehe::ph34r:

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