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Rafalski hangs up skates after 11 seasons

May 25, 2011 at 8:07 PM   |   Comments

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DETROIT, May 25 (UPI) -- Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski said Wednesday he is retiring from the NHL after 11 seasons and three Stanley Cup championships.

Rafalski, 37, said injuries and a desire to spend more time with his family prompted the move.

"The decision was made about two months ago, with my wife, weighing different factors in our lives," Rafalski said. "With hockey not being at the top, it was time to move on. [My] son being a freshman in high school next year was a big factor."

The Dearborn, Mich., native played the last four seasons with the Red Wings, helping them win the 2008 Stanley Cup title. He also played a big role in the New Jersey Devils' Stanley Cup victories in 2000 and 2003.

"I was able to play for two world-class organizations," he said. "The staffs at both places were excellent."

The blueliner compiled 79 goals and 436 assists over 833 career games with the Devils and Red Wings. He netted four goals and amassed 44 assists for 48 points in a career-low 63 games this past season.

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