Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Expect Rafalski to Stay
Although that possibility looms, Rafalski's agent, Bill Zito, reiterated Monday that his client wants to remain a Devil and has instructed him to make sure that happens. Brian wants to stay, so we're going to do whatever we can to make it work," Zito said. Zito said he had a productive sit-down with Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello while at the NHL Entry Draft in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend.
While it's not a guarantee, generally players don't leave after their agents publicly state that their client wants to stay. Therefore, I think it's safe to expect Rafalski to remain in Devils red for the next season. Of course, nothing is official - I'm just saying it's probably highly unlikely for Rafalski to sign with some other team short of a wonder deal.
It's more beneficial that Rafalski remains with the Devils. He was the team's top defenseman in terms of goals (8), assists (47), plus/minus (+4), and most importantly average time on the ice (25:29). He's a two-way defenseman who's solid on the break outs, playing from the point, and playing sound positional hockey. Until Paul Martin or someone else steps up, he's the de facto #1 defenseman for New Jersey - a team who has been solid on defense. If Rafalski agrees to stay, that means the focus can be placed on the #1 center position (an absolutely vital hole that must be properly filled if/when Gomez signs with another team).
Labels: 2007 Offseason