Detroit Red Wings: Brian Rafalski Retires

Aaron BrouwerContributor IIMay 25, 2011

DETROIT - MAY 6: Brian Rafalski #28 of the Detroit Red Wings controls the puck in front of Torrey Mitchell #17 of the San Jose Sharks during the third period in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 6, 2011 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 4-3. San Jose leads the series 3-1. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Brian Rafalski announced his retirement today from the NHL, as he wants to spend more time with family. 

Rafalski signed as an undrafted free agent with the New Jersey Devils back in 1999. He went on to win two Stanley Cups with the Devils and one with the Detroit Red Wings

Rafalski also won two Olympic Silver medals with Team USA.

Rafalski played 11 seasons in the NHL and was a fantasy hockey stud! Rafalski scored 32 points in his rookie season. He scored 10 or more goals in two seasons and averaged seven goals a season. Rafalski scored 50 or more points in four seasons and averaged 47 points a season. 

Rafalski never finished a season with a minus ranking and was always a threat on the power play.

Rafalski will be greatly missed in Detroit and on most fantasy rosters. With his retirement this will create more power-play time for Niklas Kronwall, who is ready to take the next step. 

The Red Wings have two defense prospects ready to step into the lineup so don’t expect the Wings to use this extra salary on another defensemen. 

This creates a great opportunity for Kronwall to be the main man in Detroit and for Jakub Kindl or Brendan Smith to secure a full-time roster spot.

 

Aaron Brouwer is the co-creator of www.fantasyhockeycoach.comFHC is a free fantasy hockey service that developed a ranking system combining post-lockout statistics, current factors and our own hockey knowledge. 

Brouwer writes about fantasy hockey on Bleacher Report. You can contact Coach Brouwer at brouwer@fantasyhockeycoach.com.