Rafalski had an arthroscopic procedure performed on his knee only months after off-season back surgery. Detroit Coach Mike Babcock said the back surgery could have affected Rafalski's ability to work his legs in the weight room.
The 37-year-old defenseman had contributed two assists and sported a plus-five rating in two games this season.
The Red Wings also placed forward Kris Draper on injured reserve with a groin injury and called up defenseman Doug Janik from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League.
2014: NFL Cheerleaders [PHOTOS]
Michael Sam cut from the Dallas Cowboys