Does Rafalski retiring allow Detroit to get serious about making an offer to Brad Richards. Not trying to wind people up but it seems like a place that he would like to go because it meets alot of his wants.
Cap-wise, it gives them money to play with - but, like I replied under the Richards' thread, I don't understand why Detroit would want to use that extra cap space on the center position - where they already have Datsyuk cemented as a # 1 pivot - when their defense will have a gaping hole with Rafalski's departure (and possibly two, if Lidstrom also retires).
For an organization built on defense for so long, it just runs counter to common sense IMO - the Wings have to be looking to bolster the blueline, not only to replace Rafalski but add depth for when Lidstrom does retire either this or next summer.
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