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Rafalski Retirement Talk

via Nick Kypreos tweet,

In a surprise if not shocking move sources tell Sportsnet the #RedWings will announce retirement of D Brian Rafalski as early as this week.

added 5:14pm, another Kypreos tweet,

What’s more surprising #Redwings Rafalski walks away from 6M he was scheduled to earn next year. With the news look for Lidstrom to return.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+rafalski

Comments

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awould's avatar

That is BIG news. Opens up a lot of possibilities that do not exist if he stays. He will be missed, but he’s replaceable. I really hope this means Lidstrom is staying.

Posted by awould on 05/23/11 at 07:12 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

It’s Rafalski…more than likely he’ll turn his paperwork into the wrong office…

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 05/23/11 at 07:20 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

It’s Rafalski…more than likely he’ll turn his paperwork into the wrong office…
Posted by 42jeff from Minot, North Dakota on 05/23/11 at 05:20 PM ET

Now that there’s funnnnnnny.
I won’t miss him too terribly if this does pan out to be true.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/23/11 at 07:24 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Numerous confirmations now, some saying as early as Wednesday.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/23/11 at 07:27 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

When I bashed you for the dropped coverage on SJ’s third goal, that’s not what I had in mind, Raffy.

And apparently he was 34 when he signed his contract, so that’s 6M off the cap hit.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/23/11 at 07:30 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Wings are gonna have a ton of money to spend now, but the UFA pool is weak.  Wonder if Kenny will make an offer sheet run at any of the high-profile RFA’s…

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/23/11 at 07:30 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Also, gotta think James Wisniewski has gotta be high on the replacement list, as he’s a very good puck mover and has a nice RH shot on the PP which the Wings will desperately need with Raffi gone.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/23/11 at 07:33 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Numerous confirmations now, some saying as early as Wednesday.
Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/23/11 at 05:27 PM ET

Now THIS gives some elbow room for the offseason “tweaks”.
Thanks for the services Rafi.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/23/11 at 07:33 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

I know that Raffy has (rightfully so) taken a lot of shit for his play this year, but this is still a shock. That being said, let’s go shopping!11!!

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/23/11 at 07:33 PM ET

Twig's avatar

this is huge.

Posted by Twig from Houston, TX on 05/23/11 at 07:37 PM ET

Avatar

Almost sounds like he is taking one for the team.

Posted by Mr. Fnytelhatt on 05/23/11 at 07:40 PM ET

awould's avatar

Wisniewski would be awesome. At this point, Lidstrom will play probably one more year at nearly $7.5 while Kronwall and Stuart eat up about $3.5 each. Weber might command $6, but Wisniewski won’t. Maybe $4 after the season he just had. I’d take Wis over Weber any day for $2 extra to spend.

Posted by awould on 05/23/11 at 07:47 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

At this point, Lidstrom will play probably one more year at nearly $7.5

He played for $6.2 this season, and most people think that was only to be higher than Rafalski’s pay. Doubt he’d ask for more than that.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/23/11 at 07:49 PM ET

Chet's avatar

he had 48 points in 63 games last season and was +11. that’s not bad for a defenseman, not at all. seems likely he knows his body just can’t do it any more. he’ll be 38 when the season starts and is unlikely to play a full season with soreness, injury, etc. the pounding he takes in the playoffs is also unreal given his size.

i have to respect a guy who says “i’m not worth $6M this coming season, and by the way, $6M isn’t worth it to me.” oh, also: the guy’s won many cups, including one with our team, so happy trails and thanks for everything, 28.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 05/23/11 at 07:51 PM ET

thethirdcoast's avatar

Also, gotta think James Wisniewski has gotta be high on the replacement list, as he’s a very good puck mover and has a nice RH shot on the PP which the Wings will desperately need with Raffi gone.

I also think Wisniewski is also a much more physical defenseman than Rafalski. I remember hating playing against him when we faced him on ANA in the playoffs. We’d have a pretty physically brutal D corps if we could add him to the mix with Kronwall and Stuart. Getting E52 to use all 6’5”, 225 would also be huge. I also like the fact that he’s originally from Canton, so we’d be swapping one hometown guy for another.

Almost sounds like he is taking one for the team.

Could be. Raffi’s Wiki entry claims that he was a DET fan growing up, and it’s possible that he feels like his body just can’t keep up with the demands of NHL play at this point.

Posted by thethirdcoast from Algiers, DZ on 05/23/11 at 07:51 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

I said it last year before Lids re-signed but I’ll say it again. I know he’s worth every penny we could offer him, but I would like to see him sign for $3.5 to really allow us to make upgrades. That would be an extra $9 mill between his cut and Raffi’s free money now. And I know it’s not Kenny’s style but he needs to offer Weber an offer sheet. He’s got the space now. Tick Tock, Kenny.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/23/11 at 07:51 PM ET

Avatar

Obviously the additional cap space created will be used to overpay for Ericsson.

Posted by Pat from Michigan on 05/23/11 at 07:51 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

By the way, Kypreos says Rafalski played without an ACL through the playoffs.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/23/11 at 07:53 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

I am betting Nick’s salary will be figured out once Kenny has a plan and or a few contingency plans, much in the footprints of The Captain.
Nick is a very humble man with more than enough Kronnas in the bank, and to have even considered paying anyone on our D more than #5 was silly.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/23/11 at 07:53 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

From Helene St. James on Freep:

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski is mulling retirement, but has not yet told the team of a decision.

Reports began swirling this afternoon that Rafalski is retiring this week. Wings general manager Ken Holland has not been told so.

“I know there are tons of rumors out there,” Holland told the Free Press. “I do know he’s doing a lot of thinking. I did meet with him at the end of the year. I’ve had conversations with him. For lack of better words, I do know he’s doing a lot of thinking about next year. He’s got to make some decisions. I haven’t talked to him in a week. He hasn’t told me he’s retiring.”

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/23/11 at 07:55 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Parise…

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 05/23/11 at 07:55 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“By the way, Kypreos says Rafalski played without an ACL through the playoffs.”

I seem to remember Mickey saying that Raf hasn’t had an ACL in his knee since he was 17.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/23/11 at 07:55 PM ET

Chet's avatar

By the way, Kypreos says Rafalski played without an ACL through the playoffs.

that alone explains it. if he gets surgery and rehabs just to play for one year, he’s basically ripping detroit off. shows a lot of character to just hang ‘em up.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 05/23/11 at 07:56 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/23/11 at 05:55 PM ET

Kenny’s a lying liar & we love him for it.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/23/11 at 07:56 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

I seem to remember Mickey saying that Raf hasn’t had an ACL in his knee since he was 17.

Yeah, he suffered some kind of knee trouble when he was 18 (I think), had surgery in October (just 20 freaking years later) to fix it. Don’t know about the ACL, though, just repeating it.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/23/11 at 08:00 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

HOLY HELL that is a SHOCKER !!

Posted by Evilpens on 05/23/11 at 08:03 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

oonagi on Parise.. we can bring in Janik, fill in Kindl on the 6th slot.. promote everyone and pick up Parise.. he’s a PERFECT fit for Detroit.. wishful thinking though..

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/23/11 at 08:07 PM ET

awould's avatar

Unrestricted
James Wisniewski
Kevin Bieksa
Christian Ehrhoff
Joni Pitkanen

Restricted
Shea Weber
Zach Bogosian
Andrej Sekera
Drew Doughty
Keith Yandle

Some of these have zero chance of happening, but with the Wings and Holland, you never know.

Posted by awould on 05/23/11 at 08:11 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

We already have an all-star defenseman on the rise.. he’ll be up before too long and Nick has the power of 10 D.. I say go for a big name forward.. even a slightly bigger name than average forward.. that extra top 6 piece that doesnt’ need to be cottled when they’re not scoring and quits bein’ a bitch.. sorry, got off topic… Someone needs to start some Parise to Detroit rumors

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/23/11 at 08:14 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

YES(!)

Hello Shea Weber

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 05/23/11 at 08:15 PM ET

Avatar

Oh my God…I am not sure how to respond to this news…I mean Raf had it’s really bad moments but he still is a good player and good friend of Nick’s…I hope this will not affect Lidstrom’s decision in a negative light (pushing towards retirement). If Nick stays, this is a GOLDEN opportunity for Holland to make this team really competitive for next year. We are soooo screwed if Nick leaves too!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Meg on 05/23/11 at 08:16 PM ET

Avatar

Weber is the nasty s.o.a.b this team needs.

Posted by scottytooshotty on 05/23/11 at 08:16 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I agree scotty.. but man he’ll be expensive and you know they wont let him go without a fight.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/23/11 at 08:20 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Hello Shea Weber

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 05/23/11 at 06:15 PM ET

Raffi we’ll miss ye’,but, I have been thinking aboot Weber too. We’ll see.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 05/23/11 at 08:22 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

DET 10-11

3.13 G/G (2)
2.89 GA/G (23)

I think DET needs some better “D”, don’t you?

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 05/23/11 at 08:23 PM ET

awould's avatar

I’d rather get Keith Yandle than anyone. He’s so young with so much potential. The idea of him leaving Phoenix and their problems for a team like Detroit where he could play alongside Lidstrom (hopefully) for a season or two (a pipedream) should be very appealing to him and may make him take a bit less than he could get anywhere else. Phoenix won’t pay him what he’s worth. But he’s Restricted so not sure how that impacts things.

After him, I’d take Wisniewski over Weber, for the money.

Posted by awould on 05/23/11 at 08:26 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I think Detroits forwards need to commit to defense like they used to..  Nick was a minus player.. I don’t think he’s a bad player though.. We need offense from our D and we need protectors for those point producing d-men.. they were being more aggressive and moving up and picking bad spots a lot of a the time like Rafi and Kronner do on occassion..  I think with Parise.. that’ll go down significantly.. he’s a hybrid between Pav and Z.. guy’s put up 96 points in a season and he’s only 22 years old.. that was in a defensive system..

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/23/11 at 08:28 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Considering Raffi’s bad back was bothering him this year and IIRC he wrenched his knee during the season also, I have to give him props for playing.  As much as some dislike Rafalski he’s always been a team first guy and I thank him for his service here.  Who we’re going to get?...  I’ll leave that up to Tick-Tock and the braintrust.

Posted by calquake on 05/23/11 at 09:18 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 05/23/11 at 05:51 PM ET

This, and….

Posted by calquake on 05/23/11 at 07:18 PM ET

This.

If this is true, thank you for your service Raffi.

Tick Tock needs to get some Weber if possible.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from Where the GM likes his team. on 05/23/11 at 09:35 PM ET

Avatar

damn, i hope they don’t try and get weber.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 05/23/11 at 09:59 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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