The Detroit Red Wings are losing another piece of the puzzle.
According to various reports and originally reported by Sportsnet, defenseman Brian Rafalski will retire from the NHL later this week, potentially during a Wednesday press conference. He has a year remaining on his contract with the Wings at $6 million.
Rafalski, 37, dealt with knee problems over the course of the regular season. He had surgery in October and still played 63 games during the regular season, but there are reports out there that he was severely hurting in the postseason. It makes sense. He's clearly lost a step defensively.
All in all, if he does indeed retire, it's been a fantastic run. Truly one of the best American defenseman to play the game. For the Red Wings, it means a whole bunch of extra cap space to replace him. That could be interesting come July.