Heading into the offseason, some thought the Red Wings defence corps would be hurt by a retirement. Not many expected that defenceman to be Brian Rafalski.
While 41-year-old Nicklas Lidstrom ponders his NHL future, sources confirm the 37-year-old Rafalski is retiring with one year remaining on his contract at $6 million.
The Red Wings have called a press conference for Wednesday morning, at which time Rafalski is expected to make the announcement.
Because Rafalaski was not yet 35 when he signed as a free agent in 2007, his salary for the upcoming season will not count against the Red Wings' salary cap.
This season, Rafalaski scored four goals and added 44 assists for 48 points in 63 games.
He leaves the game with three Stanley Cup rings, two Olympic silver medals and three NHL All-Star Game appearances.