Following up on Nick Kypreos' report that Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski is going to retire, the USA Today's Kevin Allen reports that Rafalski will make it official on Wednesday. Allen adds that Rafalski has been "struggling" with the decision and that injuries may be a big reason why Rafalski is calling it a career.
Rafalski still helps a team, but he's been worn down by back and knee injuries. He certainly will be rated among the top American-born D men
Kypreos speculates that with the Rafalski news, we should "look for (Nicklas) Lidstrom to return" next season. Because he played at such a high level last season, the belief has been that Lidstrom will be back for at least one more year in Detroit.
Of course, the Rafalski news came out of left field. He wasn't mentioned as a guy that may be retiring, so I suppose we shouldn't get our hopes up too much until Lidstrom actually announces he's returning. Considering his timetable is to make a decision by July 1, we could be waiting a while.