Originally posted by FSWings (foxsportsdetroit.com)Rafalski reportedly retires
Dana Wakiji May 23, 2011
DETROIT -- The Red Wings were afraid they were going to lose a veteran defenseman this offseason, but they didn't expect it would be Brian Rafalski.
On Monday, there were several reports that Rafalski had decided to retire. Craig Custance of the Sporting News said that he confirmed the retirement and that there would be a news conference this Wednesday.
Rafalski, who turns 38 in September, practiced rarely during the playoffs due to knee issues, but he played every game.
The Dearborn native had just one point in the seven-game series against the San Jose Sharks after recording two goals against the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round.
During the regular season, Rafalski had four goals and 44 assists in 63 games.
Rafalski has one year at $6 million remaining on his contract.
When the Wings cleaned out their lockers on May 14, Rafalski said he wouldn't be shocked if captain Nick Lidstrom, 41, retired. But he did not give any indication that he was considering it.
"Everyone makes their own choices, their own decisions," Rafalski said. "I respect whatever choice he makes. It's something that I think is an internal family decision. That's the way it should be."
Rafalski is a three-time Stanley Cup champion. He won with the New Jersey Devils in 2000 and 2003 and with the Wings in 2008. He also won a silver medal as a member of Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Obviously the best option is to let Balsillie move the team to Hamilton or Kitchener-Waterloo, but part of me would love to see Bettman screw this up just to keep his Worst Commissioner In Sports streak going.