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Rafalski's hot month earns Carhartt award

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Brian Rafalski receives the Carhartt 'Hardest Working Player of the Month' Trophy for Februaru from Doug Murphy of the Red Wings' Ad Sales department and Sanja Zarubica, Carhatt's sponsorship and event specialist.
DETROIT — February was a hot month for Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski, who continued his climb on the league’s points chart.

Rafalski enjoyed his best point-productive month since joining the Red Wings as a free agent in July 2007, collecting a goal and 14 assists with a plus-5 rating that helped Detroit amass a 10-3-1 record in February.

He finished the month having the second-highest season point total league defensemen with 51 points – five behind Washington’s Mike Green. For the season, Rafalski has eight goals and 43 assists.

Rafalski will receive his award from Carhartt sponsorship and event specialist Sanja Zarubica during a pre-game ceremony prior to the start of the Wings-Blue Jackets game at Joe Louis Arena on March 7.

During the regular-season, Carhartt has presented the monthly award to the hardest working Red Wings’ player, along with Carhartt merchandise. The award, in its second season, recognizes the player for his hard work and individual dedication to commitment necessary to excel on the ice. The Red Wings’ coaching staff and front office personnel select the monthly recipients.

Rafalski had at least a point in 10 of the 14 games in February, including four multi-point performances. Entering the month, he had eight multi-point games this season.

He had seven power-play points, including a goal that started the Wings’ 8-3 onslaught over Edmonton (Feb. 7). His three-assist effort helped the Wings beat Nashville, 5-3, on Feb. 10. That outing tied his season-high for point production, matching his three-point performance in the Wings’ 6-4 win over Chicago in the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field.

He had two-point outings in home wins over Nashville (Feb. 18) and Edmonton (Feb. 7), and a shootout loss to Colorado (Feb. 15).

Rafalski’s 51 points this season is four shy of tying his personal best that he accomplished in each of the last two seasons. He’s also four assists short his a personal-best set as a member of the New Jersey Devils in 2006-07.

An ironman of sorts, Rafalski is one of three Wings’ players to appear in all 64 games this season. Forwards Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula are the others.

Rafalski is the 12th Red Wing so honored by Carhartt since last season, joining past recipients Pavel Datsyuk (Jan. ’09, Dec. ’07), Henrik Zetterberg (Oct. ’07), Chris Osgood (Nov. ’07), Dan Cleary (Jan. ’08), trainers Piet VanZant and Russ Baumann (Feb. ’08), Johan Franzen (March ’08), Marian Hossa (Oct. ’08) and Andreas Lilja (Nov. ’08)

For over 115 years, Carhartt has manufactured premium workwear known for exceptional durability, comfort, quality of construction, and fit that you can feel in the fabrics and see in the performance. Established in 1889, Carhartt is family-owned and operated with over 4,000 employees dedicated to providing Best-in-Class apparel for the active worker.

Carhartt and the Red Wings would like to recognize Brian Rafalski for his outstanding work and success during January and wish him continued success throughout the 2008-09 season.

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