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MacK_Attack

Brian Rafalski announces retirement after 11 NHL seasons

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Holland hopefully is not stupid and realizes Weber is worth may more than 4 later 1st round picks.

You have to go back over ten years to find a single 1st round pick that even approaches Weber - and that is Kronwall in 2000. Not since 1983 have the Wings Drafted someone in the first round better than Weber.

For instance:

Would you trade Sheahan, Smith, McCollum and Kindl for Weber?

Hell yes! And those were 'good' picks for the end of the first round.

The Wings need to win now - they are losing Lidstrom soon and Datsyuk/Zetterberg/Franzen are all getting older, their window with this crop will be closing in a few years. Holland needs to make a big play. I don't think he will end up with a chance for Weber, but he better if given the opportunity.

This is a good evaluation. If Holland is doing his job correctly, our 1st round picks will consistently be 25th and later. The elite talent is in the top 10 of the 1st round, and the talent after that likely won't be able to replace either of Lidstrom or Rafalski, which brings us to our next point: regardless of whether Lids retires this year or not, Holand needs to make a move at some point to replace him. Weber is amongst a select few in the entire league (not just in this year's free agent pool) that can effectively fill in when Lidstrom leaves. Rafalski leaving will be devastating to our offense, but there are more options for replacing him over the next few years than there are for Lids. I'm willing to sacrifice 4 1st rounders for Weber to lead the Wings' defensive core over the next decade.

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If we can add either of Wisniewski or Bieksa I will consider that an adequate replacement. I realize that Rafalski's offensive output and instincts are hard to truly replace, but in either of those two we obtain a right-handed shot capable of playing the power play and putting up decent offensive numbers, and we add to that the missing ingredient that this team has obviously needed the last 2 seasons, a defenseman who will clear the crease and stand up for teammates.

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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.

You're right, no comparison. Rafalski is 38, Wisniewski is 27. Rafalski is winding down/ending his career. Wis is just hitting his prime.

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

Yes, the D looks even better with Suter there...

...but you have to figure that how good Nick played this season, if he re-signs, then plays just as well, why wouldn't he play another? I know its only one year at a time for him, but he played another Norris deserving season this year, maybe he will last as long as Chelios....

I do like the idea of Wisnieski for 3-5 years and getting Suter for 3-5 next year... Just imagine this in 2012-2013

Stuart - Kronwall

Wiz - Suter

Lids - Smith

Kindl

But I have a feeling that is Kindl hasn't made top 6 in the next two season, the Wings will trade him... So imagine THIS!

Stuart - Kronwall

Wiz - Suter

Ehroff - Lids

Smith

(ok, ok I wake up now....:lol:) Heck, if Holland decides to just keep his forwards status quo and re-sign Eaves & Miller, that could be THIS years defense minus Suter, they could always offer an aging D-Man dying to win a Cup (Jovo) a one year deal, then land Suter next off season...

God I love the off season! It's fun to play armchair GM!

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.

Well, honestly, if Kronner can learn to put up 50-70 points per season (like Lids) AND still lay on some kronwalling, who needs Weber?

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Another thing that makes this bitter-sweet, if Holland decides to take a pass on Ericsson and Salei, this defense is in line for a shakeup that we haven't seen the likes of since Holland acquired Chelios AND Samuelsson back in 1999. Every year since then it's been one guy here another guy there. The three biggest that showed up were Hatcher, Schneider and Rafalski, but all at different times, if Holland decides to go UFA hunting he will need 2 if not 3 NEW players on D...

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Has anyone thought about going after Kieth Yandle? He was Phoenix's best defensemen this year with 11 goals and 48 assists and played in all 82 games. The guy also had 5 assists in 4 playoff games this year. If he were a wing around all the talent that we have, he would be a beast.

I would guess that if Phoenix is in trouble financially and possibly moving then the possibility of getting someone like Yandle would be something that Holland could look into.

Yandle is obviously a RFA though so I understand the odds of getting him.

Two guys worth looking into are Bieksa and Ehrhoff but everyone needs to understand that these guys aren't gonna sign for the same amount or even alittle more than what they are currently making. I would not at all be surprised if one or both of these players look at 5.5 per year or more just because of the current crop of defensemen free agents.

My choice would be two of these three guys, however I wouldn't expect to sign a top flight forward as replacing Rafalski is gonna be more expensive then people think.

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This is a good evaluation. If Holland is doing his job correctly, our 1st round picks will consistently be 25th and later. The elite talent is in the top 10 of the 1st round, and the talent after that likely won't be able to replace either of Lidstrom or Rafalski, which brings us to our next point: regardless of whether Lids retires this year or not, Holand needs to make a move at some point to replace him. Weber is amongst a select few in the entire league (not just in this year's free agent pool) that can effectively fill in when Lidstrom leaves. Rafalski leaving will be devastating to our offense, but there are more options for replacing him over the next few years than there are for Lids. I'm willing to sacrifice 4 1st rounders for Weber to lead the Wings' defensive core over the next decade.

This is a GREAT evaluation and I agree with you 1000%.

Imagine next season our def:

Lidstrom - Weber

Kronwall - Bieksa/Wiz

Stuart - Kindl

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We'd all love Weber, but Nashville will do whatever it will take to retain him, same goes for Doughty. I honestly believe Bieksa will be courted by every team and Detroit is not in the business of outbidding teams. Wiz is probably one of the few realistic options.

The Weber hopefuls seem to be the ones saying "Well Holland got Hossa", but you have to remember Hossa was a UFA and it didn't take any assets to get him. It'd cost the farm to obtain Weber/Doughty and probably even Yandle would fetch 4 1st rounders because he's going to land a hug contract after being in Norris discussions in his contract year. Look at what Keith got after his two really good seasons (his previous two before those and this season were not anything overly special) and he's getting paid huge.

Yandle/Weber/Doughty are all going to be paid with a 6mil cap hit plus and Doughty and Weber probably in excess of 7mil (they are worth it, well Weber is at least), but there is no way their respective teams let them go unless a team goes for a 8-11mil cap for these guys, which wouldn't be by the Wings.

I think Jay Harrison would be a great replacement for either Ericsson or Salei. He had 6 FMs this season and had 10 points and finished +5, is 28 and made league minimum this season. Montador would also be a good addition and so would Hamrlik (I know he's old but he's still one of the more effective players in the league 5+29+34 and a +6 and is a UFA). Any of those three should be able to replace Ericsson and Salei while being a big upgrade. For the Raflaski replacement, Hamrlik would not be bad for one season and then try for Suter or Carle or Coburn or even JML.

EDIT: Don't know why I'm getting neg'd for this, but oh well, sorry for being the fun police and being realistic. If you're going to neg someone, at least man up and critique.

Edited by Konnan511

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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.

Well yeah we can't forget about Kronwall. For some reason, probably because of his first name, people expected to him to be the next Lidstrom. I hope now people realize that's preposterous. However, I do think he can be the "next Rafalski" with slightly less of a points average, quicker speed and more of a physical edge.

To me Ehrhoff would be a luxury. And somewhat Bieksa. It would be awesome to get either.

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With the Weber/Doughty thing, people are also overlooking how it's still generally considered an ******* move to go after RFA's like that, and I'm not sure that's how Holland wants to do business. Remember how big of a stink there is any time someone tries to sign another teams RFA?

I'm not saying it wouldn't be worth it to get Weber, but it's one more reason to throw on the pile of why he's not coming to Detroit.

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Guest Crymson   
Guest Crymson

How about we get Doughty and Weber? I'm sure we can just do a sign-and-trade of Ericsson for Doughty, and then Hudler for Weber. Then we trade next year's second-round pick for Yandle.

Lidstrom - Weber

Doughty - Kronwall

Yandle - Stuart

:lol:

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How about we get Doughty and Weber? I'm sure we can just do a sign-and-trade of Ericsson for Doughty, and then Hudler for Weber. Then we trade next year's second-round pick for Yandle.

Lidstrom - Weber

Doughty - Kronwall

Yandle - Stuart

:lol:

Now that's just crazy talk.

I think Jay Harrison would be a great replacement for either Ericsson or Salei. He had 6 FMs this season and had 10 points and finished +5, is 28 and made league minimum this season. Montador would also be a good addition and so would Hamrlik (I know he's old but he's still one of the more effective players in the league 5+29+34 and a +6 and is a UFA). Any of those three should be able to replace Ericsson and Salei while being a big upgrade. For the Raflaski replacement, Hamrlik would not be bad for one season and then try for Suter or Carle or Coburn or even JML.

EDIT: Don't know why I'm getting neg'd for this, but oh well, sorry for being the fun police and being realistic. If you're going to neg someone, at least man up and critique.

I don't think you're being the fun police... but I don't understand why you're being so cheap!

We have $6 million (plus) for defensemen...

Additionally, I'm baffled as to why everyone is griping about the FA market this year. Look at next year... it isn't as if there are any huge franchise defensemen on that list either. You don't think we have a shot at Bieksa, Ehrhoff, etc. but MAGICALLY we have shots at JML or Suter next?? C'mon.

...and I don't know why you have to be the party pooper. Ken Holland might just surprise us all with some deft off season moves. He has the money, so I hope he makes some moves and solidifies our defense instead of just standing around waiting for something to happen for us.

Make a trade for Carle, make a trade for Burns. Sign Wiz or Ehrhoff. Don't sell the farm in making these things happen, but jeez. Why not?

EDIT: poor copy/pasting skills

Edited by e_prime

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With Rafa gone we have enough space to sign 2 of the 3 top under 30 defense men and I love to see it too. Bieksa is an emotional leader, Pitkanen is a strong scorer and a large body, and Wisniewski would be a great hometown hero kind of guy who would also provide much needed protection for Jimmy. Cut Ericcson, Salei, and Ozzy, sign two of these and BOOM. 2 or 3 Lord Stanley's in our future. Not to mention, God forbid, Lidstrom ever retires in the next 2 or 3 years, that frees up even more cap space for more young talent. Also this adds more space to resign Eaves and either bring in a young talented forward or resign Miller. This is a perfect time economically for the Wings to see Rafalski go.

Thanks for your service Rafa, we love you but we love to also see you nobly throw in the towel now instead of pulling the Brett Favre.

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It's fun to speculate about all the possibilities, but I don't think any of the more lofty ideas will come even close to panning out, and long term, it may be for the best. I expect them to sign Jovanoski to a 1 year deal and another couple low to mid-level guys to 1-2 year deals. They'll save the long-term cap space for next summer's more attractive free agent market, plus they'll get a better feel for who they need to get and how much they need to pay Stuart and Kronwall in new deals.

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You're right, no comparison. Rafalski is 38, Wisniewski is 27. Rafalski is winding down/ending his career. Wis is just hitting his prime.

exactly, Rafalski wasnt in the league at Wiz's age. He is a mean little bastard who is capable of playing the PP, right handed and has good offensive instincts. He could keep developing into a nice 50 point scorer consistently.

He is a huge hitter, a tough fighter and with Kronwall and Stuart would give Detroit one of the toughest defenses to play against.

Being from Detroit, young and providing other elements the wings lack like clearing the crease, I cant see how the wings wouldnt target him.

Add him and Bieksa and theres rafalskis offense replaced as well as the wings all of a sudden have the toughest defense in the league pretty much. Pitkanen is a pretty good option as well

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found this on Spectors...

I Like the highlighted part!

ESPN.COM: Craig Button recently offered up some potential trade options for the Capitals this summer. He suggested shopping one of their current goalies (Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth, Bradon Holtby), perhaps to the Philadelphia Flyers for Scott Hartnell, or if they added Jeff Schultz, Braydon Coburn. Button also suggested offering up Mike Green to the Detroit Red Wings for Valtteri Filppula, or perhaps to Calgary for Robyn Regehr and maybe David Moss or Rene Bourque if they were willing to add prospect Cody Eakin. Button also proposed a blockbuster swap with Anaheim, shipping Green, Semin and one of their three goalies to Anaheim for Bobby Ryan and Francois Beauchemin.

I would say YES to that!

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No. Seriously. Who are these more attractive free agents that are available next year?

:huh:

I completely agree because when I was probing through capgeek.com the top defensemen (contract wise) was Rafalski... and no one up there was pulling me like Pitkanen Beiksa and Wisniewski do.

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Now that's just crazy talk.

I don't think you're being the fun police... but I don't understand why you're being so cheap!

We have $6 million (plus) for defensemen...

Additionally, I'm baffled as to why everyone is griping about the FA market this year. Look at next year... it isn't as if there are any huge franchise defensemen on that list either. You don't think we have a shot at Bieksa, Ehrhoff, etc. but MAGICALLY we have shots at JML or Suter next?? C'mon.

...and I don't know why you have to be the party pooper. Ken Holland might just surprise us all with some deft off season moves. He has the money, so I hope he makes some moves and solidifies our defense instead of just standing around waiting for something to happen for us.

Make a trade for Carle, make a trade for Burns. Sign Wiz or Ehrhoff. Don't sell the farm in making these things happen, but jeez. Why not?

EDIT: poor copy/pasting skills

Trying for isn't the same as going for broke for a player. Wings should try and sign Bieksa, but they shouldn't overpay for him. They should try for Suter and JML, but they shouldn't overpay for them. C'Mon. I'm not trying to be cheap, I'm just being realistic here. Bieksa is going to pull in a big overpaid contract this offseason unless he some how gets hurt this playoffs and scares everyone away. I've never even mentioned Erhoff, but from all accounts I hear he is going to be re-signed. Holland doesn't sign for the first wave anymore, he goes after the second wave players he doesn't have to overspend for.

I hope he solidifies the defense too, and with the suggestions I made of who is practical or realistic (I do note that there are more available of the few I brought up), he not only doesn't over spend but he shores up toughness and defense. And you have to remember, part of that 6mil and extra cap space will be going towards making our forward group stronger and playoff ready.

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Some of you guys are thinking small. Let's replace Lidstrom THIS year, and enjoy a season of Lidstrom and his replacement dominating, and replace Rafalski next year. Think big, people. I know Weber is probably out of the picture but the future is now. Holland won't be going for a decent roleplayer, he's going to find a partner for Kronwall who dominates, and next season another guy who dominates to anchor the second pairing with Stuart when Lidstrom retires.

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Anyone hoping for a Lilja return? 750000 wouldnt hit us too hard and provide a solid partner for Kindl!

But I agree with you VM1138, we should replace Lidstrom this year. Who would you pick though? The class for a long term replacement this year off of Free Agency would be Wisniewski Bieksa or Pitkanen (unless we do trade Filpula for Green which would be solid, or any other Ken Holland waving a magic wand and making more magical trades occur).

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