Rafalski, 38, hampered this season with back and knee injuries, is expected to make the announcement “in the coming weeks,” Rogers SportsNet reported on Monday. The Detroit Free Press reported that the GM Ken Holland has not been informed by Rafalski about his status for next season:
“I know there are tons of rumors out there,” Holland said. “Rafi has told me he’s not 100% sure what he’s doing next year. I’ve had a couple of conversations with him, and he’s doing a lot of thinking about whether he’s playing next year or not. But I haven’t talked to him in a week.”
Rafalski could not be reached for comment.
He has one year and $6 million left on the five-year, $30-million contract he signed in the summer of 2007.
The Islanders put out a release calling for a news conference on Thursday where Weight “will announce his decision on the future of his NHL playing career.” Newsday reports that Weight will likely retire and take a position in the organization.
Rafalski, who has been paired with Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom, was part of the Red Wings’ last championship team in 2008. He also won Cups with the New Jersey Devils, the team he broke into the league with in 1999-00, in 2000 and 2003.
Weight debuted with the New York Rangers in 1990-91 and played for the Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks before he joined the Islanders for the 2008-09 season. He won the title with the Hurricanes in 2006.
-- A.J. Perez