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MacK_Attack

Brian Rafalski announces retirement after 11 NHL seasons

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I really don't get all the excitement for him leaving.

Every replacement plan has cons that outweigh the pros. Considering that the amount of time left for us to win with Lidstrom... You just cannot expect this to help us take advantage of a closing window. This truly makes for a rebuilding project, one that I really do not want to do at this stage of the game.

I was expecting him to stick around at least two more years, and get a ton cheaper too. Now we have to spend more money to get someone else who will produce less. Not good.

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Keep in mind that Rafalski was 12th in the league in scoring and played only 63 games. Look at his place at the end of the season in total points over the last 5 seasons.

10-11 - 12th

09-10 - 21st

08-09 - 5th

07-08 - 7th

06-07 - 12th

People can knock is defensive game, but he is a point producing machine. I see the same upswing from Brendan Smith as he has the same skillset just in a bigger body.

On a sidenote, I am pretty disgusted with some of the comments here. The "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out" comments in specific. He helped bring a Stanley Cup to Detroit. He took a hometown discount to come play here. A little respect would be in order.

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looked at UFA's on capgeek and I felt like the Wings could afford to give up a bit of offence to help the PK/defensive numbers.

NOTE: I didnt look into weather any of these guys are leaning towards re-signing/retiring/playing overseas/etc....

CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR

FORWARDS

Valtteri Filppula ($3.000m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Daniel Cleary ($2.800m)

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

Rob Niedermayer ($1.000m) / Darren Helm ($0.912m) / Patrick Eaves ($1.000m)

Fernando Pisani ($0.650m) / Justin Abdelkader ($0.787m) / Drew Miller ($0.800m)

Tomas Holmstrom ($1.875m) / Cody McCormick ($0.750m)

DEFENSEMEN

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

Eric Brewer ($4.500m) / Brad Stuart ($3.750m)

Kevin Bieksa ($4.500m) / Anton Babchuk ($1.400m)

Jakub Kindl ($0.883m)

GOALTENDERS

Jimmy Howard ($2.250m) / Chris Osgood ($0.750m)

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)

(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)

SALARY CAP: $60,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $59,483,711; BONUSES: $0

CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $516,289

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I think the best replacement is simply Andre Markov. Yah, he has had his share of injuries the last 2 seasons... but they both happended from sheer dumb luck. Look at his career... when he is healthy he is one of the best Dmen in the game and he racks up the points and is HUGE on the powerplay for the Habs.

I read that the Habs want to try to sign him for a similar contract to the one he has which is 5.4 million I think, so if the Wings offer up a bit more money I am sure that it could work out and he could come to Hockeytown with a chance to play with Nicklas Lidstrom and his countryman Pavel Datsyuk.

Honestly guys, Erhoff sucks... he can NEVER hit the net and turns the puck over more than Ericson does. Bieska would be my next pick, but I truly think Markov is the Wings' best bet at replacing Brian Rafalski, who was a VERY IMPORTANT part of this team since 2008.

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Sign Peckham and Ehrhoff. This should give the Wings a good core to build on when Lids retires. Peckham is more physical than anyone the Wings need and he is still young. Ehrhoff can make up some of the puck moving that Raffy was responsible for.

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I'll still be surprised if Holland goes after Weber.

Brewer, Kaberle, Pitkanen, Bieksa, or Wisniewski.

Have your pick... all affordable.

Kaberle needs to stay the f*** away from this team.

I'm thinking Holland will have to go after a higher end player. Maybe someone like Andrei Markov or go crazy and try for Doughty.

Markov is to injury prone.

Edited by dragonballgtz

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I really don't get all the excitement for him leaving.

Every replacement plan has cons that outweigh the pros. Considering that the amount of time left for us to win with Lidstrom... You just cannot expect this to help us take advantage of a closing window. This truly makes for a rebuilding project, one that I really do not want to do at this stage of the game.

I was expecting him to stick around at least two more years, and get a ton cheaper too. Now we have to spend more money to get someone else who will produce less. Not good.

I agree 100%.

People are excited about getting the money to spend. Its like giving a kid $12, and then taking him to the goodwill store to spend it. There isn't much out on the market right now, so you give the kid $60 more. The kid is giddy over the fact he has more money, but figures out that there isn't anything worth buying at the goodwill store right now. Now substitute goodwill store for free agent market.

There isn't anything like Rafalski or Lidstrom on the market right now.

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Honestly guys, I don't think this is the off season to reinvest the cap space. I see Holland signing a couple D-men to 1, maybe 2 year deals just to tie us over.

There is just simply no one out there that you want to latch yourself onto right now. If we throw big money at the FA pool this year, we are only hurting ourself next year when real decisions need to be made.

I don't think its practical next year to plan for a stanley cup - it may just be a season to coast.

But!

Since everyone else is talking about unrealistic ideas (Weber), I'll take a crack at it:

We trade Hudler for a D-man to a team looking to unload a burden. Hell, hows about Souray? I believe he is an UFA the next season so we can unload him if we want.

Then, we sign Richards.

Then we sign Bryzgalov at a discount cus he wants to win the cup and he is friends with Pav. Then we also trade Howard to colorado for JML. yay! :hehe:

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I really don't get all the excitement for him leaving.

Every replacement plan has cons that outweigh the pros. Considering that the amount of time left for us to win with Lidstrom... You just cannot expect this to help us take advantage of a closing window. This truly makes for a rebuilding project, one that I really do not want to do at this stage of the game.

I was expecting him to stick around at least two more years, and get a ton cheaper too. Now we have to spend more money to get someone else who will produce less. Not good.

Keep in mind that Rafalski was 12th in the league in scoring and played only 63 games. Look at his place at the end of the season in total points over the last 5 seasons.

10-11 - 12th

09-10 - 21st

08-09 - 5th

07-08 - 7th

06-07 - 12th

People can knock is defensive game, but he is a point producing machine. I see the same upswing from Brendan Smith as he has the same skillset just in a bigger body.

On a sidenote, I am pretty disgusted with some of the comments here. The "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out" comments in specific. He helped bring a Stanley Cup to Detroit. He took a hometown discount to come play here. A little respect would be in order.

With his knee and back. He was not going to stick around for more than his contract.

Thinking otherwise was wishful at best. It may have been a bad move for him to stick around, even if he signed for less.

I'm not sure that I see the "don't let the door hit ya" comments. (Albeit, Raffi has his haters.)

I do admit to a little excitement to the possibilities that his retirement brings, including the possibility of seeing Smith sooner.

His point production will be missed, certainly.

He did help bring a Cup here. Much props.

A Hometown discount is debatable.

I've got nothing but respect for the guy.

Edited by e_prime
pucktividi, Nev, Nightfall and 2 others like this

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Weird, Eklund had a blog earlier today appended with a blurb about a potential surprise retirement, It read "his retirement will have a huge bearing on the UFA and RFA landscape as well as possibly affecting if one of his teammates retires as well", and the first thing I thought was "This sounds like Rafalski.."

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I know that at least for me it wasn't an issue of being "happy" that he is retiring -- but despite his point production you knew that his overall health was going to be a serious factor going forward into next season. When he's healthy he's a $6-million defenseman, but when he's not -- and lingering issues this season lead one to believe that he would continue to deteriorate -- he's a major strain on the Red Wings' flexibility.

Looking forward to the offseason, it'll be interesting. One new factor to consider too is that Holland won't be saddled with salary-for-salary player trades. He can afford to take on higher salary players due to the cap space. So the answer may not come via free agency, but by trade.

A Hometown discount is debatable.

It's not. He was offered more than Detroit's $6-million when he hit free agency. (It might've been the Devils to try to keep him at around $6.5-million, but I haven't looked back to confirm.) Regardless, he absolutely took a lower offer to play here. It was a big point made in the press when he signed here.

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Wow, that is some unexpected news.

Certainly gives Holland a lot of money to play with, to match the large roster hole that will be left. At the very least, it makes sure that we're in for a busier free agent season than we originally expected.

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It's not. He was offered more than Detroit's $6-million when he hit free agency. (It might've been the Devils to try to keep him at around $6.5-million, but I haven't looked back to confirm.) Regardless, he absolutely took a lower offer to play here. It was a big point made in the press when he signed here.

I stand corrected.

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Found it: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/wings/2007-07-01-rafalski-redwings_N.htm

The important bit:

Rafalski's agent, William Zito, said five teams tried to sign the defenseman — including one offering a six-year, $40 million contract — but he wanted to play for his hometown team.

... Which works out to roughly $6.67-million/season. Almost $700K -- a nice chunk of change to save.

Rafalski was a fantastic signing and a great compliment to Lidstrom on the power play. (Schneider did us a favor!) We will desperately miss that first-pass and the right-hand shot on the power play. Thanks Brian!

T-Ruff, pucktividi and e_prime like this

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Damn, this really came out of left field. Thanks for the cup and all the memories Brian, you will be missed

In terms of the UFA market, I agree that there really isn't anything out there for us. The more I think about this and Holland's comments since we were eliminated about possible moves outside free agency, the more I see a big trade happening. I'm talking about the type of trade that we haven't seen from the Wings in years. I have no idea who we would target, but something tells me Holland has something up his sleeve.

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It's not. He was offered more than Detroit's $6-million when he hit free agency. (It might've been the Devils to try to keep him at around $6.5-million, but I haven't looked back to confirm.) Regardless, he absolutely took a lower offer to play here. It was a big point made in the press when he signed here.

Classy guy for a classy organisation.He could probably play another 40-50 games next season,but he walked away from 6 mil$

:thumbup: for Brian

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Get any 2 of Wiz/Brewer/Vandemeer/Bogosian, let Salei/Big E walk, then have Kindl run full time bottom pairing with Smith being the utility 7th dman. I prefer Wiz/Bogosian

Found it: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/wings/2007-07-01-rafalski-redwings_N.htm

The important bit:

... Which works out to roughly $6.67-million/season. Almost $700K -- a nice chunk of change to save.

Rafalski was a fantastic signing and a great compliment to Lidstrom on the power play. (Schneider did us a favor!) We will desperately miss that first-pass and the right-hand shot on the power play. Thanks Brian!

Although he has been very erratic the last few seasons (aside from Olympics) his contract was worth it, he was a big piece in winning the cup and it's sad but you could kind of tell the body just couldn't do it anymore. Good Luck Rafalski

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Lots of $ to spend. Fear not, we will make it work. Take your boy Hudler's 2.875 off the books and we are sitting beautifully.

:w00t2: Yes, if all that happens, plus the cap goes up $4.1M!?!?! Holland would have over $25,000,000!!!!! to spend....when is the last time he had that much to spend?!?!?! Screw it, Ehrhoff, Wisniewski & Babchuk! add those to Lidstrom, viola!

Lidstrom Stuart

Kronwall Ehrhoff

Wisniewski Babchuk

Kindl

Do it Kenny!

Edited by LeftWinger

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as much as i hope it wont wont happen i can see kenny going after kaberle.. i would love for both brewer and bieksa to be wearing red next year...but with the post seasons both are having i cant see either team letting them go

I think a lot of people are overlooking this fact.

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It would leave us with a lot of cap space. Shouldn't be any financial issues preventing us from giving Lids what he's asking for. I'd like to have Rafa back, but not at the salary he's due.

Lids should take $5.5M to $6M. Still will leave Holland $19M!!!!! (after he trades Hudler!)

I could imagine, maybe, just maybe he could offer something to Richards after all? Maybe?

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Found it: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/wings/2007-07-01-rafalski-redwings_N.htm

The important bit:

... Which works out to roughly $6.67-million/season. Almost $700K -- a nice chunk of change to save.

Rafalski was a fantastic signing and a great compliment to Lidstrom on the power play. (Schneider did us a favor!) We will desperately miss that first-pass and the right-hand shot on the power play. Thanks Brian!

Agreed. As I said not too long ago, he was a huge part of the Wings system because of his great passing. And his long bombs helped keep other teams honest.

Assuming Rafalski really retires, doesn't that leave Eaves as the only right-handed shot on the roster?

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I have to check the CBA to be sure, but I do NOT believe the Wings will get all 6 million off the books. Rafalski is retiring with a contract through this up coming season. I believe that the remaining amount is spread out against the cap over a period of 3 years (may just be 2 though). Thus, they may only get 4 million off the books (or maybe just 3 million, depending on the terms)

And, good luck finding a GM stupid enough to take Hudler and his 2.75 million contract off our hands.

Here is why someone would take Hudler, he is young, has potential, in a contract year and if he scores 20, $2.875M is fair... he just doesn't fit here...

Edited by LeftWinger

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People seem to forget a broken down, one legged Rafalski put up 90 points the past two seasons and had a .75 PPG pace this season. he was the catalyst for our ES. This team needs a smooth puck moving defenseman, a guy that isn't one of the dozen that LGW are throwing around, save for Wiz. Weber, Suter, Doughty, Bieksa, Bogo aren't coming here and nor will they even be given offers because they are going to be the first waved signed. I'll make anyone that bet right now.

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