OT - Report: Brian Rafalski Set to Retire Wednesday

Submitted by hockeyguy9125 on May 23rd, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Reports going around the news that Red Wings D-Man Brian Rafalski will retire on Wednesday...


Probably because of the knee and back problems that have really hurt him the past few years. I did not see this coming, but this will probably be a better situation than a not healthy Rafalski for the future. The ultimate positive spin to this: That is $6 million more for Ken Holland to play with/make some magic happen.



May 23rd, 2011 at 6:01 PM ^

I'm ok with this as long as Lidstrom comes back for another season. We have a young d man coming up from grand rapids that will need a good mentor


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:03 PM ^

he is a restricted free agent...Nashville can match any offer the Wings make which means it would take a crazy, cap destroying offer to get him...it will not happen without a trade, and Nashville is not that stupid to trade away their franchise player


May 23rd, 2011 at 9:32 PM ^

I've always liked this guy. He's a solid player with a nasty streak who hasn't really had the opportunity to stick somewhere. Could end up being a Dan Cleary or Brad Stuart type pick-up. He's a talented player who just needs to find his place.


May 24th, 2011 at 10:17 AM ^

Since I can't recall Holland ever going after a RFA, I doubt he makes a play for Weber.  Plus, Holland would have to make a ridiculous offer in order to land him, as Nashville isn't going to let him go... especially within the division.  Maybe make a high (but not ridiculous) offer just to make Nashville overpay for him?


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

It would take all of 6 million, probably more like 7-7.5 to sign Shea Weber. He's also only 26 so this will be his anchor contract (the one that sets him up financially for life) so it will have to be long-term. I just don't think the Wings are the type of organization to get involved in a massive long term deal like that for a free agent.


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:43 PM ^

Just curious, do they offer specific sport-agenting classes in law school or are you put out into the cold and learn all of it on the job?

I guess it can't be all that different than regular executive compensation work and contract negotiation, so do you just load up on that? I've always wondered what it took to be an agent beyond having some sweet connections.


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:48 PM ^

I think there are specific courses you can take in undergrad (sports management?) but at my law school there's nothing specifically for being a sports agent, at least that I'm aware of. I just finished my first year so I could be wrong. Basically you just transfer your knowledge about contracts, negotiating, etc...

Like I mentioned in my diary thread, right now I have a partnership with a very well-established agent. He walks me through everything and I work for him in the summer so that's where I get most of my knowledge, from watching him. We split the commision on my clients 50/50. Once I graduate, any new contracts will be solely mine (assuming the players stay with me).

It's nearly impossible to become an agent without knowing the right people. I don't even know where you would start.


May 23rd, 2011 at 7:33 PM ^

I just looked into it a bit and apparently there is a program that specializes in sports law. But it isn't classes, it involves summer placement at an agency to learn about the business. There are classes about the entertainment industry though, so that could help, but I guess that would apply to music and movies more.


May 23rd, 2011 at 9:17 PM ^

I think you and I both hit on it before where it's more on the contract and negotiation side, probably also needing a halfway functional personality and some connections.

Good luck, I know it's hard to break into the agenting world (at least in other sectors of entertainment) but it sounds like you have a great head start.

Tshimanga Cowabunga

May 23rd, 2011 at 9:10 PM ^

My school has a couple sports specific law classes and colleges like Tulane and Marquette have actual Sports Law programs. Even though they specialize in them though, its pretty much understood that the best (kind of only) way to get into the job is to either have connections going in or develop connections during/after which usually happens by attending the best law school you can get into.


May 23rd, 2011 at 11:24 PM ^

That's cool, I went into law school intending to be a lawyer and then decided that I had enough connections to break into the world of hockey agents. The fact that I go to a good law school is definitely what gives me credibility. We will see how it goes. All 5 of my clients are still in the AHL so I'm far from making the big bucks, but all are under 22 and one is a holy lock to be in the big leagues next year and another should make it within the next 2 seasons. Hopefully the pieces fall into place.


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:02 PM ^

your last point, is it possible his retirement is also a way to go out on his own?  I think  if he did not retire, the orginization may have "asked" him to retire later this year if this is not the product of that already.  This could be a save of face?  Just speculation.

But I will miss Rafalski :(




May 23rd, 2011 at 6:04 PM ^

Rafalski had a pretty nice career, it just sucks that he has to retire because of injuries. I did not expect this, but you could tell Rafalski had been playing hurt the past two seasons. Lidstrom's decision has become even more important for the Wings this offseason. At least this does free up quite a bit cap space.


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:09 PM ^

Even though he left because Lamoriello is never willing to pay superstar prices except if your name is Kovalchuk, I still respect Rafalski for all he did for the Devils and missed him dearly every time I saw him score a goal for the Wings.  

Good luck to him in retirement!


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:11 PM ^

Rafalski helped us win a cup and that is all you can ask from a free agent signing.  His salary has exceeded his production the last couple of years, but perhaps it has been these lingering injuries that have contributed to his subpar play and early retirement.

Fat Mike

May 23rd, 2011 at 6:12 PM ^

Hate to see him go but it may be something the red wings need. I interested in seeing Jakub Kindl for an entire year. He seemed to play well in the small amount of games I was able to see but didn't play at in the playoffs. With the free agent class being weak this year the extra money will probably be used to sign lidstrom if he comes back, eaves, miller, Ericsson and salei


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:13 PM ^

A few names:


Kevin Bieksa

Christian Erhoff

Sami Salo (yes 3 Canucks)

James Wisniewski

Nicklas Wallin

Ian White


all UFAs.  I would prefer Bieksa.  He's been fantastic during these playoffs for the Nucks, and he would do very well with the Wings.


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:29 PM ^

Now that we all respect your insight into the NHL.  Which of these sounds most likely? 

1. Wings trade for Zach Bogosian

2. WIngs offer Kevin Bieksa 

3. Wings try to land Drew Doughty from the Kings. 

I only bring up these three because I believe a right handed defenseman is the number one need for the red wings.


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:35 PM ^

1. Probably not, he's had injury issues and will still be restricted so it's likely the preds will keep him. We still don't know his full potential yet.

2. In order to do this the Wings would have to get in a bidding war, something they will likely not do. His contract would be massive and long-term. He's the face of their franchise so they will do everything they can to keep him. Remember, he's not unrestricted so all they have to do is match.

3. Zero chance. His next deal will be even bigger than Weber's.

None of these things are likely to happen because that's not the Wings way. They like to build through the draft and develop. All of the players you mentioned would involve bidding wars and they just don't do that type of thing.
EDIT: I could have sworn your second point said Shea Weber, did you change it? My bad.


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:54 PM ^

I really like Cory Emmerton. He's a good playmaker. He will make it at some point and could develop into a solid second line center IMO.

I hear good things about Tomas Tatar but I haven't seen him play.


May 23rd, 2011 at 7:36 PM ^

The penalties called against the Wings in their series against SJ were laughable, at least if they were not in the playoffs they would have been laughable.

Numerous penalties could have been called, but embellishment should have been added. The Wings are one of the few teams I don't see diving a whole lot. SJ players were all over the ice when a Wing got near one of them.


May 23rd, 2011 at 6:30 PM ^

With Kindl and Brendan Smith in our system, I would prefer that we go after a defenseman that is more physical, like Bieksa (who while having some penalties also shows some offensive upside and drops the gloves on occasion).  As mentioned before, Weber is a Restricted FA.  The only way to get him is if he would sign a one year offer with Nashiville in order to hit the open market as an UFA in 2012.  I doubt that will happen.