The news has been confirmed by Darren Dreger and Craig Custance. Press conference scheduled for Wednesday.
File this one under “unexpected.” Sportsnet reporter Nick Kypreos reports the following, via Twitter:
In a surprise if not shocking move sources tell Sportsnet the #RedWings will announce retirement of D Brian Rafalski as early as this week.
What’s more surprising #Redwings Rafalski walks away from 6M he was scheduled to earn next year. With the news look for Lidstrom to return.
Injuries the main reason #Redwings Rafalski shuts down a great career. He played throughout the play-offs without a ACL in his knee.
If this is, indeed, true, the Red Wings would have an additional $6M to play with as summer free agency rolls around. By my count, the Wings would have about $21M to play with, depending on what number the salary cap ends up being for 2011-12. I still don’t think that Ken Holland would make a run at RFA Shea Weber in Nashville… but I’m more than happy to continue pushing that dream…
But, perhaps more importantly, it’s time to say goodbye to a defensive stalwart and a warrior that clawed and fought his way into the National Hockey League and won some Cups. Raise a glass to Mr. Rafalski, if the news is confirmed by the team. Stay tuned to TPL for details, and perhaps an official word from the team…
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Don’t forget that Drew Doughty is an RFA too
Wow. that was actually the last thing i even thought about this offseason.