Rafalski, Weight to Retire?

DETROIT NEWS/DETROIT FREE PRESS: reported Red Wings general manager Ken Holland addressed a report from Sportsnet yesterday claiming defenseman Brian Rafalski has not yet told him he’s going to retire. Holland said Rafalski told him during his end-season interview he “had decisions to make” but Holland said he hasn’t spoken with the blueliner since then, though he expects to hear from Rafalski later this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hopefully there will be further clarification on Rafalski’s status later this week. If he does retire it’ll free up $6 million from the Red Wings payroll for next season, which will almost certainly send them into the UFA market for a potential replacement, like Tomas Kaberle, Joni Pitkanen, James Wisniewski, Kevin Bieksa or Christian Ehrhoff if they’re available on July 1st.

NHL.COM: reports NY Islanders captain Doug Weight has called a press conference for Thursday morning, where he’s expected to officially announce his retirement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg. I’ll take a look back at Weight’s career on my blog once he makes his retirement official. Injuries have clearly taken a toll on him.


  1. with Raffi Gone hello Bieksa or bogosian! cmon we are def getting something with an extra 6 million bucks

  2. Everyone and the Bogosian talk from the wings fans, that isnt going to happen. Bieksa… maybe. I think you will get a Pitkanen or a Wisniewski. But if you get Bogosian, you will have to trade big for him. Atlanta/Winnipeg will not just give him up for nothing.

  3. Not so fast..the Red Wings like to go with veterans. They will try to get Chelios out of retirement.

  4. It won’t be Bogosian unless you send a good package of players and/or prospects to Atlanta/Winnipeg. It will most likely be Ehrhoff, Pitkanen or Wis.

  5. we can send our 1st this year, filppula emmerton and thats plenty for bogosion maybe even another prospect. I don’t want ehroff cause he’s too soft and i don’t want pitkanen for the same reason. we need a strong guy. i hope they sign bieska or wisniewski and trade for bogosian or smid

  6. I think that we will sign at least one UFA. But rather than sign Weber who Nashville will match no matte what, what about the Coyotes money problem and going after Yandle. He is a young up and comer and very good offensively. The Yotes are on a short lease from the league and could be priced out of the market. I know that is not Holland’s style but this is the new NHL with new rules and ways of doing things.

  7. I have a question… Rafalski being 37 years old, won’t that 6 million dollars count towards the cap if he retires. due to the fact he is over 35? Or is it the fact that he signed his contract before 35.

    • Rafalski was under-35 when he signed his current contract, so that $6 million for next season won’t count against the Wings cap if/when he retires.

  8. If they can’t find one in UFA’s — they can have Gonchar if they wish.

    He is up there in age… and would probably fit very well in Detroit.

    He has a NTC.. but I assume he would be willing to go to a periennel contender than be on a re-build in Ottawa.

    Give Sens your 1st round pick…. and you can have him.

    He’s only signed for 2 more years… gives Detroit time to get a young player developed in the AHL.

  9. FYI: The Red Wings have scheduled a press conference for 11:00 AM on Wednesday with Ken Holland and Brian Rafalski expected to attend.

    Other than Weber – no free agent D is worth $6 Mil or more right now. Nashville won’t let him go and I don’t blame them.

    The Wings would be smart to go after 2 Defensemen like James Wisniewski and Ian White.
    Wisniewski is from Canton MI(Detroit Suburb), and at 27 almost in his prime.

    Give them around $3.5 Mil each and that will clean up the D, which has be on a big decline since 2008.
    Let Salei walk and let Ericsson walk, his giveaways will better serve another team.

    Depth Chart:
    1. Lidstrom (assuming he will be back)
    2. Kronwall
    3. Stuart
    4. Wisniewski
    5. White
    6. Kindl
    7. Smith

  10. affordable signing, wings sign Jovi. veteran player helps to fill the shoes of raffy Lidstrom for one more year? lol, throw a good pros and or draft for Stall from the rangers, he’s one of their type of players

  11. Bogosian will cost too much for a project. They’ll go after someone more established, but I highly doubt that will be Jovanovski (not the player he was) and it certainly will not be Gonchar (lol!). I think there’s a defenseman out there that no one is mentioning yet that the Wings will target, as well as possibly some of the better FA defensemen.

  12. Is it Anton Babchuck? I’ve got a feeling there’ll be quite a few bids on this guy. Relatively unknown for how deadly he is. He appeared to be thriving in Cowtown but they only paid him 1.4 and you gotta think he’s gonna be up at 3.5. Feaster seems pretty keen on garbage like Regeher and Sarich so i’m bettin Babchuk is gone; my money says he’s a red wings guy even though something didn’t work out in Carolina.

  13. Don’t be silly claysbar. The Rangers, or any team without cap issues for that matter, parting with their number one defenseman is incredibly unlikely. Since there are quite a few defensemen available, we could see two effects: more competition means potentially less expensive contracts, and a greater selection of talent indicates talented defensemen with contracts won’t be the big ticket trade items this year.

    It’s a much thinner market where forwards are concerned, and from what I’ve read they could potentially move Filipula, Hudler or both. However, in return the Wings would most likely be looking for depth and a backup goalie. That’s contingent on their farm though, something I’m unfamiliar with. Regardless, pulling away a number one defenseman with an offer of that pair doesn’t add up.

  14. Sandy are you serious?! Gonchar for a first? Lol! Why don’t they “give” you zetterberg too???

  15. Why would the Wings want Gonchar for a !st round pick. Yes theWings like more established players but not established as a finished player. Holland will weight all his options and he will make good decisions. Yes, I believe they will sign both UFA’s as well as trade to improve the team. Weber and Doughty are not options, due to the teams they play for, and their standings or futures. I still beleive they could go after Keith Yandle from Phoenix. He fits what they like, smart, puck mover and skater. The farm team has promising youngsters but the Wings tend to allow the draft picks develop and bring them up only when ready. Nyquist(Hobey Baker finalist), Tartar, Smith(Hobey Baker finalist) , Pyett and Ferraro make up a strong farm team but they are two to three years away.

  16. Wisniewski will be top of the Wings list as a free agent. Bank on it. It’s because Rafalski was their only right handed shot from the point, and they’ll want to replace that. Wisniewski and Bieksa are the top two options who fill that requirement, and I would bet on Bieksa either re-signing in Vancouver or, after the playoffs he’s having, getting a ridiculous free agent deal from another team that Detroit won’t want to match. Whoever mentioned Babchuk above, that might not be a bad guess either. He’s also a right hand shot. I think you’re overestimating the demand he’ll be in after the inconsistency he’s shown in his NHL career, but that probably just adds to the appeal for the Wings.

    It’ll be a tough go for the Wings if Rafalski and Lidstrom both retire. But if they add Wisniewski, and promote top prospect Brendan Smith that’s not a bad top four with Kronwall and Stuart, plus a bigger role for Kindl. Add an underrated defensive-minded vet like Jan Hejda or Steve Montador, assuming they let Salei and Ericsson walk, and they’ll be ok.

  17. Like Button said! Trade Green to Detroit for Flip! (and what ever comp is needed) done and done! a nice piece to the Defense for 1 year at 5 mill and add Nick for one more year! with cap space to go after a decent scoring Winger or Center…… DO IT!

  18. @Ryan So, a center who seems to have topped out at 40 points for a defenseman who’s a Norris finalist and had 50 or more points three straight years until getting inured this year. There had better be a LOT of other compensation there for the Caps, cause that is an incredibly one sided deal. And though I think they need one, the Caps are content to go with Johansson at 2C, so they won’t be trading for a center unless it’s a 3C type like Jay McClement. They’re much more likely to pursue a power forward to play on the top line. Maybe Green for Franzen would make sense. If the Wings were worried about depth at wing, maybe Green and Semin for Franzen and Stuart. The only way I see a major trade going down between the Caps and Wings is if Franzen is involved.