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Wings May Look to Devils’ Greene to Replace Rafalski


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#1 westcoastdevfan

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:47 PM

Posted ImageIn the summer of 2007 then unrestricted free-agent defenseman Brian Rafalski was expected to resign with the New Jersey Devils. But on July 1st the Dearborn, Michigan native spurned the Devils and signed with his hometown Detroit Red Wings. Rafalski recently announced his retirement from the NHL leaving the Red Wings scrambling to find a capable replacement for 37 year old blueliner. Detroit is still waiting to hear if Captain and future Hall of Fame Nicklas Lidstrom plans on returning for a 20th season at the age of 41. Lidstrom is expected to make a decision before the official start of the free agent frenzy on July 1. Facing the possibility of losing their top defensive pairing the Red Wings are going to have to be an aggressive player this off season. Rafalski was scheduled to make $6 million in 2011-12, his final year of the 5 year $60 million deal he signed in 2007. Detroit may use that extra cap space and find a more affordable option. Perhaps soon to be New Jersey unrestricted free agent Andy Greene is that option.

The Devils’ Greene is set to become and unrestricted free agent this summer and could be an inexpensive alternative for Detroit. Greene earned $750K last season and could be had for much less then the $6 million owed to Rafalski. Greene is very similar player to Rafalski but lacks the refinement the 3-time Cup Champion had. But, Greene could be very capable defender for the Red Wings. Both Players are small, Greene is 5’11 190lbs, Rafalski 5’10 194lbs but both can skate exceptionally well. Greene played four years at Miami University and was signed by the Devils as an undrafted free agent. Rafalski played four years at University of Wisconsin–Madison before spending a few seasons in Europe before finally being signed as an undrafted free agent by New Jersey. And just as Rafalski did after the 2006-07 season, Greene has said over and over that he intends on remaining with New Jersey. But the Michigan born Greene may find a chance to play back home an appealing option just as Rafalski did four seasons ago.

Greene’s stock has risen considerably over the last couple of seasons. He put up a career high 37 points (6g 31a) in 2009-2010 but like everybody on the Devils his numbers took a dive in 2010-11. Despite the drop off in production he logged over 22 minutes of ice time and his 23 points ( 4g 19a) ranked him 6th on New Jersey in scoring. Even with some flashes of excitement, Dandy Andy didn’t exactly take the league by storm. Actually, he was sometimes incredibly painful to watch. In fact I’d often find myself cringing at the site of the diminutive defender protecting the point on the power play. More than one puck found it’s way over his stick headed in the wrong direction but Greene has grown into the position and become a reliable defender. In my opinion, Andy Greene has become the most important part of the Devils defensive corps.

The Red Wings may have the opportunity to repeat history and catch the Devils napping again. New Jersey can’t afford the sit on their hands and assume that players are going to sit around and wait for them to decide it’s time to negotiate. Sometimes better options come along and for Greene the retirement of a former New Jersey Devil might be the option he’s been waiting for.



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#2 UnderDogX

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 09:59 AM

well written but the beginning and end both make the point that the Red Wing went and stole Rafalski from us...then puts to pure speculation that they'll do it again with Greene, even though no facts actually suggest that. The issue being that the Red Wings stole no one. The Devils were dumb and didn't want to give Rafalski the contract, didn't want to sign him to a contract worth what he thought he was worth and let him walk.
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#3 westcoastdevfan

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 04:50 PM

Yeah your right. Perhaps a little too dramatic? :whistling:
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