One of the big reasons why Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski may be retiring is the nagging injuries he has been dealing with. The USA Today's Kevin Allen suggested that Rafalski's knee and back issues helped lead to the decision to retire, and this report from Nick Kypreos backs up that theory:
Injuries the main reason #Redwings Rafalski shuts down a great career. He played throughout the play-offs without a ACL in his knee.
First things first, ouch. Hockey players being warriors and playing through some ridiculous injuries during the playoffs is nothing new (just ask Nicklas Lidstrom and his boys downstairs). For a 37-year-old to go through two rounds of the playoffs without an ACL in one of his knees is quite remarkable and speaks to Rafalski's toughness.
This type of injury also makes Rafalski's decision to retire much more understandable. His back and knee injuries have been well documented in the last couple years, but the public wasn't aware of him having such a serious knee injury. Considering how bad it was, it's not too surprising at all Rafalski is deciding to retire. I certainly don't blame him. The fact he made it through the playoffs still boggles my mind.