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.
Step 1: Fire McCrimmon Step 2: Hire/Promote new defensive coach Step 3: sign Ehrhoff/Bieksa Step 4: Howard plays like he did in playoffs all season... Step 5: Win Jennings for least amount of goals conceded..
Yzerman of course. Same reason Emperor Palpatine wanted Luke Skywalker to replace Darth Vader as his new apprentice.
Holland has accomplished a lot here, but every GM moves on eventually, and I would have loved to see Yzerman move in as Wings GM because he'll always be a Wing to me.
Only problem I see is him being conflicted and loyal to players he used to play with, which is a large part of this team. I think he would have felt uncomfortable making moves on some of these players who were his former teammates and friends.
But alas, it's too late. Yzerman is not going to leave Tampa anytime soon. Doesn't strike me as that kind of person.
Holland just re-signed for 5 years anyway. But when that contract is up, seems like a perfect time for Stevie to come home. Let Stevie get more experience under his belt there, and by then most of the guys he played with for years in Detroit will be long gone.
Valtteri Filppula ($3.000m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Daniel Cleary ($2.800m)
Todd Bertuzzi ($1.937m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Johan Franzen ($3.954m)
Jiri Hudler ($2.875m) / Jaromir Jagr ($5.000m) / Tomas Tatar ($0.870m)
Justin Abdelkader ($0.787m) / Darren Helm ($0.912m) / Tomas Holmstrom ($1.875m)
Patrick Eaves ($0.750m) / Jan Mursak ($0.550m)
Nicklas Lidstrom ($5.000m) / Brad Stuart ($3.750m)
Niklas Kronwall ($3.000m) / Brian Rafalski ($6.000m)
Jakub Kindl ($0.883m) / Ruslan Salei ($1.000m)
Logan Pyett ($0.950m)
Jimmy Howard ($2.250m) / Thomas McCollum ($0.816m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $62,200,000; CAP PAYROLL: $61,745,377; BONUSES: $210,000
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $454,623
I wonder if Lidstrom and Jagr would be willing to take about 2 million less than they are worth on the open market. Probably not, but is there a way the Wings could get Jagr?