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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
http://twitter.com/#!/RealKyper

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.
http://twitter.com/#!/DarrenDreger/status/72779920408981504

Confirming. 37 year old d-man Brian Rafalski will announce his retirement with 1 year remaining on his deal at $6 mil.
 

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Will free up some space for the Red Wings,and will make Lidstorms decision even more vital,concerning the bluelines overall depth.
 

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I must admit, I'm kinda glad to see him hang up the skates. I could tell a difference in him as the season dragged on. I would hate for him to come back next season and do some serious, career-ending damage to his body. At least this way he's going out on his own terms.
 

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And it's official.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=563767&navid=mod-rr-headlines

ust about everybody outside of his family who was informed of Brian Rafalski's decision to retire from hockey had the same, basic reaction.

There was silence, followed by a one-word question: "What?"

Rafalski, a 37-year old defenseman, still had one year left on a five-year contract that he signed in 2007 with the Detroit Red Wings that would've paid him $6 million. His production hadn't slipped, despite a frustrating season wrought with nagging injuries to his knee and back.

The veteran puck-moving blueliner tallied 4 goals and 48 points in 63 games played in the regular season and Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland already had him penciled into the top four defensemen on his team for the 2012 season.

Good thing he used pencil, because Rafalski used a pen in Holland's office at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday morning to sign his retirement papers and make it official. Afterward, he talked about his reasoning in front of family, friends, Red Wings management and the media.

"The decision was made between myself and my wife approximately two months ago," Rafalski said. "We went through a long process of weighing different factors in our lives and at the end of the day it came down to priorities -- with the top three priorities being serving God, serving my family and serving others. Hockey not being at the top, it was time for me to move on."

Needless to say, the decision caught most people by surprise -- including his agent, Bill Zito, who's represented Rafalski for his entire 15-year professional hockey career that included the first four playing in Europe after going unselected in the Entry Draft.

"When he told me, I was like, 'What?'" Zito told NHL.com on Wednesday by phone. "It's ingrained. The NHL is a privilege. You play as long as you can play. It's just a wonderful experience and you get all of it that you can get. You look at his points-per-game this season and he was still among the best in the game. So in that regard, it was a big surprise. Then you talk to him for even a few minutes and it all just makes sense."

As he did at the podium on Wednesday, Rafalski explained to Zito and Holland his rationale earlier this week.

"He just said, 'I've accomplished a lot in my career, I'm getting banged up but I'm still healthy, and I talked to my wife and I'm thinking about making a commitment to my family and my kids,'" Zito said. "When you think about it, there's not much that he hasn't accomplished."
 
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