– Brian Rafalski, who was raised in Dearborn, played soccer at Southfield (Mich.) Christian High School, and helped the Red Wings re-claim the Stanley Cup in 2008, has been invited to tryout for his third U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team.
Rafalski, 35, has represented the U.S. in three pervious international events, including the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, when the Americans finished eighth. He also won a silver medal in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, and a bronze at the 204 World Cup of Hockey.
The U.S. tryouts will take place from August 17-19 at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, Ill.
On Monday, USA Hockey filled its coaching voids, introducing New York Rangers coach John Tortorella and New York Islanders coach Scott Gordon as assistants to Ron Wilson, the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach who was pegged as Team USA’s head coach in April.
This season, Rafalski set an NHL career personal-best for assists (49) and points (59) in 78 games. He has three seasons remaining on a original five-year contract with the Red Wings.
Rafalski is one of six Michigan natives invited to the 34-man USA roster, joining Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller (East Lansing), Boston goalie Tim Thomas (Flint), Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason (Clawson), Florida forward David Booth (Detroit) and Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler (Livonia).
Rafalski is the lone American from the Red Wings’ 2008-09 roster to be invited to the U.S. team camp. The other Americans on last season’s roster were goalies Ty Conklin
(Phoenix, Ariz.) and Jimmy Howard
(Syracuse, NY), center Justin Abdelkader
(Muskegon, Mich.), and defensemen Chris Chelios (Chicago, Ill.) and Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.).