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Brian Rafalski appreciation thread

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I could be wrong here, but I think that Brian Rafalski put the Detroit Red Wings ahead of himself today. I think he still wants to play. I think he realized that he was no longer worth the 6mil/season he was being paid. And I think he realized that the organization could make better use of that cap space elsewhere.

He essentially donated $6,000,000 to next year's Stanley Cup run (maybe more, as Lidstrom can now take a pay-cut and still be our highest paid defenseman). Not a lot of professional athletes would have done that, especially in this day and age. It deserves serious recognition and applause, imo.

He had a he!! of a prime with us, won a Stanley Cup, and always gave it all he had.

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Thanks Raffi! You were so much better than Schneider, had career seasons here, won a Cup and gave us the best puck moving tandem in the league since you've been here. Seeing you end it here at home was great!

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During the Olympics Rafalski was the best defenseman in the world. He was an animal in the 08 playoffs. This is a very unselfish move by the Michigan man. Hell, I might consider buying a Rafaski USA jersey. I do not think his performance at the Olympics will ever be forgotten.

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I'm honestly shocked that our #2 D-Man is apparently retiring. It was a shame that McCrimmon ruined the Lidstrom/Rafalski pairing the last few years...someone string that bastard up!!! Now we're going to probably lose them both :(

As others have said, Brian's showing in the last Olympics were nothing short of amazing. It makes you wonder how great he could have been on the Wings (he was very very good, but not GREAT) had the right conditions been there.

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Unfortunately for rafalski he played with Stevens in NJ and Lidstrom here. He has always been the understated "second fiddle". Fortunately for the respective teams, he was an excellent complement to the #1. Remember, he was considered the best hockey player in the world not in the NHL when he entered the league. He showed the past couple years (Olympics, etc) that he's probably top two *American* defenseman even at his age. IMO, worth every penny the Wings paid (will pay if the rumors are false :D) for his services. An important cog in the machine that will be difficult (but not impossible) to replace.

(side note: I played rugby with a knee very similar to his apparently...its f***in hard when your 26 let alone 36. I finally got mine fixed (Edit: I thought he was younger but I am... Either way same diff) and let me tell you...the relief I felt the last year has been...absolutely a million percent relief...something for him to look forward to)

Edited by sandyeggo wingnut

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I could be wrong here, but I think that Brian Rafalski put the Detroit Red Wings ahead of himself today. I think he still wants to play. I think he realized that he was no longer worth the 6mil/season he was being paid. And I think he realized that the organization could make better use of that cap space elsewhere.

He essentially donated $6,000,000 to next year's Stanley Cup run (maybe more, as Lidstrom can now take a pay-cut and still be our highest paid defenseman). Not a lot of professional athletes would have done that, especially in this day and age. It deserves serious recognition and applause, imo.

He had a he!! of a prime with us, won a Stanley Cup, and always gave it all he had.

I think you're very wrong and to be quite honest I think that's ridiculous. He's 37 won the cup mutiple times, has had some nagging injuries and just figured that now is a better time than any to hang em up. Donated 6 million dollars? Cmon..he has made more then enough money in this league..did you ever think that he values his health and would love to spend more time with his family? He took a discount when he signed his deal and to for you to think he's doing this to make the team better is kinda funny actually. Who is out there that we can realistically get that is as good as Raf? Key word being realistic.

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I think you're very wrong and to be quite honest I think that's ridiculous. He's 37 won the cup mutiple times, has had some nagging injuries and just figured that now is a better time than any to hang em up. Donated 6 million dollars? Cmon..he has made more then enough money in this league..did you ever think that he values his health and would love to spend more time with his family? He took a discount when he signed his deal and to for you to think he's doing this to make the team better is kinda funny actually. Who is out there that we can realistically get that is as good as Raf? Key word being realistic.

i guess we'll just have to agree to disagree here, because I think that you're completely off base. he's been slipping for the last couple of seasons. kevin bieksa is going to be available this off-season. in retrospect, would you have traded rafalski for bieksa prior to the most recent san jose series? if you're answer is "no," then i think you're either an idiot, or a stubborn liar.

my contention is that rafalski's answer to that very same question would be "yes." there's no objective facts that either of us can post to back our arguments there. so i guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. it's what i think. and it's what i think most smart hockey people think as well.

95% of nhl players in his exact position would've just sat out half the season with 'injuries,' collected their $6,000,000 (that's a lot of money for any athlete), and not given a damn about how the team did.

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i guess we'll just have to agree to disagree here, because I think that you're completely off base. he's been slipping for the last couple of seasons.

'07-'08: 55pts in 73gms (0.75pts/gm)

'08-'09: 59pts in 78gms (0.76pts/gm)

'09-'10 42pts in 78gms (0.54pts/gm)

'10-'11: 48pts in 63gms (0.76pts/gm)

Please do a quick graph of pts/gm vs season. And tell me if the line is trending downwards at the end of 2011.

Thanks. ;)

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'07-'08: 55pts in 73gms (0.75pts/gm)

'08-'09: 59pts in 78gms (0.76pts/gm)

'09-'10 42pts in 78gms (0.54pts/gm)

'10-'11: 48pts in 63gms (0.76pts/gm)

Please do a quick graph of pts/gm vs season. And tell me if the line is trending downwards at the end of 2011.

Thanks. ;)

interesting point. i thought there was more to hockey than racking up power play points, but sure...you're right...i'm wrong...i'm an idiot. that's what you were expecting to hear, right?

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interesting point. i thought there was more to hockey than racking up power play points, but sure...you're right...i'm wrong...i'm an idiot. that's what you were expecting to hear, right?

Rafalski led all defencemen in even strength points per game. Don't bash the man's offense. He was still one of the best puck movers in the league.

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interesting point. i thought there was more to hockey than racking up power play points, but sure...you're right...i'm wrong...i'm an idiot. that's what you were expecting to hear, right?

His +/- would indicate he was a great even strength player. Why make an appreciation thread only to bash him later?

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Rafalski led all defencemen in even strength points per game. Don't bash the man's offense. He was still one of the best puck movers in the league.

And, like it or not, was a big help to Detroit's puck possession game the last three years.

As much as Lidstrom is a generational talent, he had a much easier time doing what he wanted two years ago with Rafalski as his partner. Now that he has been playing with more "shut down" partners (Stuart in particular), he has had a much bigger workload, mentally and physically.

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And, like it or not, was a big help to Detroit's puck possession game the last three years.

As much as Lidstrom is a generational talent, he had a much easier time doing what he wanted two years ago with Rafalski as his partner. Now that he has been playing with more "shut down" partners (Stuart in particular), he has had a much bigger workload, mentally and physically.

Exactly. Rafalski was so good at even strength, he helped price Ericsson out of Detroit 41570_144446078668_3563_q.jpg

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'07-'08: 55pts in 73gms (0.75pts/gm)

'08-'09: 59pts in 78gms (0.76pts/gm)

'09-'10 42pts in 78gms (0.54pts/gm)

'10-'11: 48pts in 63gms (0.76pts/gm)

Please do a quick graph of pts/gm vs season. And tell me if the line is trending downwards at the end of 2011.

Thanks. ;)

I've always liked Rafalski but you've got your head in the sand if you can't see that his play has declined quite a bit since he first signed in Detroit. He can't keep up in his own end anymore.

That said, his offense will be very hard to replace.

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What else did he need?

A decent defensive coach, resulting in a more effective D, resulting in even greater play by Rafalski. The Wings defensive woes were NOT his fault, but what I'm saying is that we can imagine his stats would have been greater (or more up to his skill level) if the teams defense was more effective. Many would say it was compromised under McCrimmon's watch. Thats the shame here.

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I've always liked Rafalski but you've got your head in the sand if you can't see that his play has declined quite a bit since he first signed in Detroit. He can't keep up in his own end anymore.

That said, his offense will be very hard to replace.

Sanity. Does anyone else here still have theirs?

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Always will be the best picture of him in a Wings uniform, after his '08 Finals Game 5 go-ahead goal in the 3rd.

Rafalski_500_060208.jpg

I could be wrong here, but I think that Brian Rafalski put the Detroit Red Wings ahead of himself today. I think he still wants to play. I think he realized that he was no longer worth the 6mil/season he was being paid. And I think he realized that the organization could make better use of that cap space elsewhere.

He essentially donated $6,000,000 to next year's Stanley Cup run (maybe more, as Lidstrom can now take a pay-cut and still be our highest paid defenseman). Not a lot of professional athletes would have done that, especially in this day and age. It deserves serious recognition and applause, imo.

He had a he!! of a prime with us, won a Stanley Cup, and always gave it all he had.

I don't think he's "donating" $6 mil to the Wings next Cup run. I think maybe the injuries he's fought through over the past few seasons are taking their toll on him. HOWEVER, I do think its a little convenient (maybe too convenient) that a $6 mil defenseman unexpectedly retires right before two big RFA defensemen hit the market.

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I don't think he's "donating" $6 mil to the Wings next Cup run. I think maybe the injuries he's fought through over the past few seasons are taking their toll on him. HOWEVER, I do think its a little convenient (maybe too convenient) that a $6 mil defenseman unexpectedly retires right before two big RFA defensemen hit the market.

Agreed.

It's gotta be the injuries that he's had these past few years that are nagging him, and making him realise that it'll get worse...And yes - I too believe he's declined a bit in his own end, and has become an easier target for fast forechecking forwards.

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