Posted 06 April 2013 - 07:21 AM
Yes, its becoming obvious now how much we miss him. His defensive drop-off was largely due to the injuries he suffered in the 2009 playoffs, and he was never the same again - how often did we see him get beat to the outside after that? He himself cited it as a major factor why he retired a year early.
Despite what the Holland bashers say, right-handed defencemen who can skate, pass and shoot like Rafalski don't grow on trees.
"If I can be totally honest, it's not a lot of guys you get impressed by. Actually, it's no one else but him. From the bench, to see what move he makes -- you're like, 'I wish I could do that.' Sometimes you sit on the bench and just think, 'wow,' and you look over to the other bench and they sit there and shake their heads, too. He has great, great skills. I'm probably not going to play with another player who has the kind of skills he has." Mikael Samuelsson on Pavel Datsyuk