Tom Gulitti reported on some news and notes regarding the New Jersey Devils. He reported on new topics regarding Steve Santini and former Devil Brian Rafalski.
First, regarding Steve Santini, he is still participating in the National Junior Evaluation Camp for Team USA in Lake Placid, NY. He is one of 27 remaining on the roster. Team USA beat Sweden yesterday in a blowout 7-1 score.
Brian Rafalski was nominated to be inducted into the 2014 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class after a very storied career. Here is what Tom Gulitti had to say about Rafalski:
“Former Devils defenseman Brian Rafalski is one of four members of the 2014 induction class of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, USA Hockey announced today.
Also to be inducted are former Devils assistant coach and U.S. Olympic coach Lou Vairo, former University of Wisconsin and Colorado College coach Jeff Sauer and U.S. Women’s National Team pioneer Karyn Bye Dietz. The Class of 2014 will be formally enshrined on Dec. 4 in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Rafalski, a Dearborn, Mich. native, played 11 seasons in the NHL, including the first seven with the Devils. As a rookie in 1999-2000, Rafalski, now 40, helped the Devils win the Stanley Cup and received NHL All-Rookie Team honors. He helped them win the Stanley Cup again in 2003.
In 541 regular season games with the Devils, Rafalski registered 44 goals and 311 points. He was selected to play in the 2004 and 2007 NHL All-Star Games.
He spent the last four seasons of his career with the Detroit Red Wings and picked up a third Stanley Cup ring with them in 2008 before retiring following the 2010-11 season.
Rafalski’s brief comeback attempt last season with the Florida Everblades in the ECHL was ended by back troubles. His 515 career points (79 goals, 436 assists) in the NHL are 10th-best among American defensemen.
Internationally, Rafalski was a member of the U.S. Olympic team at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games. He helped Team USA earn the silver medal at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics. At the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Rafalski was named to the media all-star team and was voted the tournament’s best defenseman after tallying four goals and eight points in six games.
Over his three Olympic appearances, Rafalski recorded five goals and eight assists in 17 games. He also played for the 2004 U.S. World Cup of Hockey Team, 1995 U.S. Men’s National Team, and 1992 and 1993 U.S. National Junior Teams.
Vairo served as a Devils’ assistant coach from 1984 to 1986. A scout on the 1980 U.S. Olympic team that won gold, Vairo served as head coach of the 1984 Olympic team and an assistant on the 2002 team that captured silver in Salt Lake City.”
Stay tuned to Pucks and Pitchforks for more write-ups on Jersey’s Team during the dog days of summer. With the off-season reaching the final days, stay with us as the season starts to slowly creep up!