Jan 9, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT
Is Brian Rafalski mounting a comeback?
Well, he’s planted the seed for one.
The 40-year-old defenseman, who retired in 2011 due to back and knee injuries, has signed with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades, the club announced on Thursday.
“I’m just excited to get back on the ice again and see where God takes me on this journey,” Rafalski told the team’s website.
Rafalski, who spent 15 NHL seasons between New Jersey and Detroit, recently participated with his former Red Wings mates in the Winter Classic Alumni Showdown. According to Everblades PR man Paul Teeple, working out for the alumni game provided the spark, and things progressed to where they are today — Rafalski joining a club that sits second in the ECHL’s South Division and is the East Coast League affiliate to both the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning.
It’ll be interesting to see how Rafalski will adjust to playing professionally again. He was still performing at a high level upon his retirement at age 37, scoring 48 points in 63 games in his final season.
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 50
- Wilson signs with Preds, leaving just four arbitration cases to go 2
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million 62
- Deal with the Devils: New Jersey re-signs Larsson to six-year contract 14
- Stepan seeks $7.25M in arbitration, Rangers counter at $5.2M 24
- Capitals investment: Holtby signs five-year, $30.5M deal 21
- Redemption time? Montreal, Semin agree to one-year deal 26
- Full autonomy: Lamoriello’s place in Leafs’ chain of command 26
- Lamoriello’s departure removes any doubt: Devils are Shero’s team 21
- With Lamoriello hire, Leafs hammer home their culture change 23
- Post expansion, could NHL realign with eight divisions? (138)
- NHL to ‘focus exclusively’ on expansion bids for Las Vegas and Quebec City (89)
- He’s baaaaaack: Leafs pull a stunner, hire Lamoriello as GM (Updated) (84)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- Ah, arbitration: Holtby reportedly asking for $8 million, Caps countering at $5.1 million (59)