Sunday, July 1, 2007

Schneider out, Rafalski In


The Detroit Red Wings acted quickly after the loss of Mathieu Schneider to the Anaheim Ducks when they signed former New Jersey Devils defenseman Brian Rafalski to a five-year contract worth $30-million.

Rafalski, a Dearborn native, is 33 years of age and netted eight goals among his 55 points last season.

The three-time All-Star had played his entire seven-year career with the New Jersey Devils, recording 44 goals and 311 points, and won two Stanley Cups with the franchise (2000, 2003).


Schneider signs with Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks secured one of the Red Wings' unrestricted free agents this afternoon by plucking defenseman Mathieu Schneider from the club with a two-year, $11.25-million contract.
From a Red Wings perspective, Schneider's contract was likely at least $500,000/year more than what the club was willing to spend. For Anaheim the move could possibly be a precursor to Norris-runner up Scott Niedermayer's official retirement.

There are plenty of free agent options on the blueline yet for the Red Wings, with Danny Markov, Brian Rafalski and Brad Stuart and others highlighting the group.

Earlier this week Rafalski, who played for New Jersey last season, expressed an interest in playing for a "Midwest" NHL team. Rafalski is a metro Detroit native.

Schneider enjoyed two of the best seasons of his NHL career in Detroit and finished with 11 goals and 41 assists last season and was having a strong playoff run before breaking his wrist in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Jose Sharks.

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