NHL notes: Rafalski ready to retire
|Red Wings defenceman Brian Rafalski controls the puck in front of Sharks forward Torrey Mitchell during Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., May 6,2011. (GREGORY SHAMUS/Getty Images/AFP)
Defenceman Brian Rafalski appears set to end his 11-year NHL career.
The Detroit Red Wings blueliner is expected to announce his retirement in the near future, according to a report on sportsnet.ca.
Rafalski, 37, has been plagued by back and knee injuries in recent years and reportedly played through an ACL problem during the Red Wings' playoff run this season.
In 833 games in the NHL, Rafalski had 79 goals and 436 assists. He had another 29 goals and 71 assists in 165 playoff games with the Red Wings and New Jersey Devils, his first NHL team.
Despite going undrafted out of the University of Wisconsin, Rafalski won the Stanley Cup three times and made it to the final on two other occasions. He also played in three Olympic Games with the U.S., twice winning the silver medal.
The Red Wings are also waiting to hear from defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom, who is mulling over retirement despite a stellar 2010-11 campaign.
Weight packing it in, too
New York Islanders forward Doug Weight is expected to announce his retirement at a press conference Thursday.
Weight, a second-round draft pick of the New York Rangers in 1990, had 278 goals and 755 assists in 1,238 games with the Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks and the Islanders. He played 19 seasons, including the last three with New York, and won the Stanley Cup with the Hurriicanes in 2006.
Injuries limited Weight to just 107 games with the Islanders. He had just two goals and seven assists in 18 games during the 2010-11 season.
Radulov KHL's best
Former Nashville Predators forward Alexander Radulov Monday was named the KHL's most valuable player for the second consecutive year.
Radulov, who left the Predators following the 2007-08 season to sign with Ufa Salavat Yulayev of the KHL, had 20 goals and 60 assists in 54 games this season. His 80 points, which led the league, were 14 more than Norwegian teammate Patrick Thoreson, the second-leading scorer.
Konstantin Barulin of Atlant Moscow Region was named the KHL's top goalie and Pavel Zdunov of Metallug Magnitigorsk was the top rookie.