Source: Brian Rafalski to retire

Updated: May 24, 2011, 12:29 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski is expected to announce his retirement this week, a source confirmed to ESPN.com.

Brian Rafalski

Rafalski

The team announced Tuesday that it will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, when Rafalski "will discuss his plans for his playing career."

The news was first reported by Rogers SportsNet in Canada.

General manager Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News on Monday that Rafalski had yet to inform the team about his future plans.

"I know there are a lot of rumors out there, but he hasn't told me he's retiring," Holland told the News.

Rafalski, 37, was set to make $6 million in 2011-12, the final year of a five-year, $30 million contract he signed in 2007. He missed 19 games this past season with knee injuries and posted four goals and 44 assists and was a plus-11 in 63 games.

The defenseman has played 11 NHL seasons, the first seven with the New Jersey Devils before signing with the Red Wings as a free agent in 2007.

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.