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Report: Red Wings' Brian Rafalski To Retire

This offseason, there is expected to be plenty of talk about retirement for the Detroit Red Wings. With guys like Nicklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper, Chris Osgood and Mike Modano getting older and their careers winding down, at least one of them is expected to hang up the skates and call it quits.

One person that was not expected to call it a career already is Brian Rafalski. However, according to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, Rafalski is expected to do just that.

In a surprise if not shocking move sources tell Sportsnet the #RedWings will announce retirement of D Brian Rafalski as early as this week.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

Rafalski, a Dearborn native, has played professional hockey since 1995. He joined the NHL in 1999 and played for the New Jersey Devils for seven seasons. In 2007, he signed with the Detroit Red Wings and played alongside Nicklas Lidstrom en route to his third career Stanley Cup. Rafalski and the Red Wings made it back to the Stanley Cup the next season, but they lost to the Penguins in seven games.

If this news is true and Rafalski does indeed retire, let's hope Lidstrom decides to play for another season. Losing two of their top defenders to retirement in the same offseason would be a tough blow to the Red Wings, and that is now a distinct possibility.