Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: Brian Rafalski
We’re very pleased to welcome Phil Coffey—well-known to many in the hockey world—as a guest blogger at Kukla’s Korner.
Sight unseen, would you consider a player with three Stanley Cup championships and two Olympic medals worthy of a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
Perhaps, but you need more info to make the correct decision. After all, it is possible that a player with those credentials might well be a depth player who was truly fortunate to go along for the ride.
Brian Rafalski never was a bit player during what was a tremendous—if unlikely—NHL career. Rafalski ranks as one of the top American players ever to have laced on skates. A strong, puck-moving defenseman with uncanny instincts and a work ethic to match, In a word, Rafalski was great to watch.
But at age 37, Rafalski retired Tuesday after helping the Detroit Red Wings to the 2008 Stanley Cup and a return trip to the finals in 2009. He also appeared in three finals with the New Jersey Devils, winning in 2000 and 2003.
And let’s not forget the two silver medals earned at the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympics for Team USA.
Not bad for a player who was never drafted. Yep, 30 clubs could not find a reason to draft Rafalski back in the day, forcing the defenseman on a European vacation of sorts to prove himself worthy of a North American career.
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.
Late in the first period, Tomas Holmstrom took a puck to the face while along the boards in the defensive zone. He did not return for the 2nd period but no word from the Wings yet.
Also, Brian Rafalski was a late scratch, after taking a bump to the back according to Babcock.
update 10:10pm, Holmstrom returns to the bench.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski is having arthroscopic surgery on his knee at noon today.
Coach Mike Babcock said he doesn’t think Rafalski will be out long.
“He had a little pain and it hadn’t reacted the way it had in the past,’’ Babcock said. “He had the back surgery this summer and the quads probably aren’t as strong, so his knee, which he hurt when he was 18, suddenly there’s more wear and tear.
“They decided they needed to have a quick look and clean it up. Don’t think it’s very long, but don’t know until you get in there.’’
more on the Wings…
added 3:06pm, Holland says Rafalski will be out 3-4 weeks.
NHL On The Fly discussed this hit from David Backes against Brian Rafalski last night and said the NHL will be watching for these types of hits.
You have to keep your eye on Rafalski as he dumps the puck in towards Conklin.
Brian Rafalski of the Detroit Red Wings scored with two/tenths of a second left on the clock which gave the Wings a point in the standings.
Edmonton won the game in a shootout in a game I am sure Detroit fans were looking for a victory.
How will that one point be looked at when the regular season is completed?
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Update from Monday’s late afternoon practice at the Honda Center: Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski participated in his first practice in 12 days, said he felt good and will be a game-time decision for Tuesday. Rafalski has missed the first five games of the series with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
“If the coaches and myself feel I can contribute in any way, then there’s a good chance I’ll play, but we’ll see what happens,’’ Rafalski said. “Until I get on the ice, I can’t really tell when I’ll be able to play. Practice went well today, skated well yesterday for 25 minutes (with the reserves before the game), a little longer today.’‘
continue for more on the Wings…
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
Generously listed at five-foot-10, the 191-pound Rafalski is the poster boy for the NHL’s smaller, skilled defencemen.
“It’s nice to hear guys (scouts, general managers) say we have a Brian Rafalski-style of defenceman,” said Rafalski, who is quietly putting together a career-year with 32 points and a plus-13 through 42 games….
“He opened the door for a lot of players,” said Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill, who handles Detroit’s drafting. “You didn’t see many small defencemen in the league, Phil Housley and (Reijo) Ruotsalainen in Edmonton, but Brian can move the puck better than those guys.
“He’s made everyone sit back and look at why he’s successful. Everyone has got one (small, skilled defenceman) now.
“He’s got his own style. Small guys, if they’re going to survive, you have to play like Rafalski.”
This is a great atmosphere here in Detroit, much better than a parking lot.
-Brian Rafalski during the Stanley Cup Parade today.
Q. Chris, could you talk about the mood of the team, maybe compare it as it is right now as to maybe immediately following the end of last night’s game?
CHRIS OSGOOD: We were all right after the game. We played hard. It was another great game. We just fell in the wrong end. That’s the way we looked at it. It was an end to end game. We had plenty of chances. It just didn’t happen. Sometimes it’s a game of bounces. It didn’t go our way, but we managed to fight back.
It didn’t happen. We have another opportunity tomorrow night, and that’s what we’re looking forward to.
from the Star-Ledger,
There haven’t been many missteps this season for Rafalski or the Red Wings. The 34-year-old Dearborn, Mich., native has a chance to win his third Stanley Cup (he won in 2000 and ‘03 with the Devils).
“It would be crazy around here,” he said. “Personally, it would be special winning it in front of family and friends after growing up watching the Red Wings and then being part of the organization.
“Not many people were picking us to win. Everyone picked Anaheim, San Jose or the Rangers. The critics said we weren’t built for the playoffs and we didn’t have the goaltending. There was some added pressure because of the history of this team going out early in the playoffs.”
The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday activated defenseman Brian Rafalski from injured reserve.
Rafalski, has missed the last eight games with a groin strain
via the Detroit Free Press,
Quick update from practice: Wings coach Mike Babcock said defenseman Brian Rafalski would miss Friday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a groin injury.
Babcock said he thought Kyle Quincey would be called up to replace Rafalski in the lineup.
from the Windsor Star,
Though he hasn’t been the point producer Schneider has been in his career, Rafalski has been a steady 50-point man on a New Jersey team that wasn’t noted as an offensive juggernaut.
“It’s a big difference,” Rafalski said. “You have more freedom to jump up, join the plays. I like it.
“It’s like going back to how I played in Europe. It’s going to take me a while to get back in that mode.”
more on the Wings…