Brian Rafalski signs with Florida Everblades of ECHL

Jed Jacobsohn

Brian Rafalski is back on the ice three years after retiring.

Three years after retiring, former New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski has signed a contract with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.

Rafalski, who just turned 40 in September, played 11 seasons in the NHL, recording 515 points over 833 games while being a part of three Stanley Cup winning teams and the 2010 Silver Medal winning United States Olympic team.

"I’m just excited to get back on the ice again and see where God takes me on this journey," Rafalski said in a statement released by the team.

He entered the NHL during the 1999-00 season after signing with the Devils as an undrafted free agent at the age of 26 and immediately started to make an impact for the team. During his career only two defensemen in the league -- Nicklas Lidstrom, his longtime defense partner with the Red Wings, and Sergei Gonchar -- recorded more points than Rafalski.

Rafalski recently played in the Winter Classic alumni game and that seemed to get the ball rolling on his comeback attempt.

"He played in the Winter Classic alumni game and got the bug," Everblades coach Greg Poss told the Marcos Island Sun-Times. "He wants to play in the NHL again."

Not that he couldn't still play in the NHL, it's worth pointing out that there are only four players in the NHL over the age of 40 -- Teemu Selanne, Daniel Alfredsson, Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney. The oldest defensemen are Gonchar and Sami Salo, both of whom are 39.

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