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Red Wings' Draper announces retirement

Posted on: July 26, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: July 26, 2011 11:37 am

By Brian Stubits

In an announcement that shocked nobody, Red Wings center Kris Draper announced his retirement on Tuesday, hanging up his skates after 20 seasons, the last 17 in Detroit.

"This is the most difficult decision I've ever had to make because I love this game so much and the Detroit Red Wings," Draper said. "There is sadness because this is all I know. I love this game. I love everything about it. I love the training. I love to compete."

Draper was famously acquired by the Red Wings from the Jets for one dollar. After that, Draper went on to a career that could be described as professional and workman-like, helping Detroit win four Stanley Cups throughout his tenure.

"I would like to thank Bryan Murray and Doug MacLean for making that whopping trade with Winnipeg to acquire me for a dollar," Draper said.

"Kris has been a big asset to the Red Wings, not only by being a great hockey player, but as a great person," owner Mike Ilitch said.

Draper is going to remain with the organization, taking on a front-office role. "It's kind of sad in a way," Ilitch said, "but he's going to bring a lot to our organization, and I'm thrilled about that."

He really earned his name as part of Detroit's famous Grind Line along with Joe Kocur (replaced by Darren McCarty in 1998) and Kirk Maltby, providing a tough and intimidating group that would ware down opponents. It was as tough a line as you could find in hockey and was a large part of all the Wings' success in the late 90s and early 2000s.

In his 1,157 games (all but 20 with the Wings) Draper scored 161 goals and had 203 assists.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:19 am

Red Wings' Draper announces retirement


Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:17 am

Red Wings' Draper announces retirement

As a long time Blues fan, I say......thank God!

Good Luck Chris, you were a hell of a competitor.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2011 12:19 am

Red Wings' Draper announces retirement

Look at Vancouver's Northwest Division, absolutely pathetic so yeah a Top 3 seed team but how far will that go? Power teams are coming out of the Central Division in Western Conf: Detroit, Chicago & St. Louis but Nashville always finds a way to prove many wrong. Columbus has improved but what team in the Northwest shows any improvement besides Minnesota & Edmonton????? Experts believe Edmonton will b the bottom feeder again this coming year, I don't see that happening. I think they're better than Colorado & Calgary in the Northwest. Watch out cause the Dark Horse in St. Louis will be giving you the Blues that many don't see.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 11:56 pm

Red Wings' Draper announces retirement

You're quite laughable as well richyriches, LMFAO! When Vancouver lost the series YOUR TRUE LOYAL FANS DID TEAR UP THE CITY. I have a friend who's a huge loyal Vancouver fan that lives in Vancouver. She was really mad they lost & did Vandalize along w/other friends. Please don't tell me any different & stop playing the innocent/idiot card. It's like me saying & making the excuse that true Detroit fans don't do the Vandalizism, it's the people in Detroit that aren't fans of the Redwings or every major 4 sport team in Michigan that do that, lol! Does that matter to me No but I'm still a Detroit Redwings Fan. Choose your battle wisely & don't expose the Idiot Card ;)  

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 11:25 pm

Red Wings' Draper announces retirement

BTW Gators just said he would be in the HOF which is absolutely laughable... It's not the Hall of Grinders, gimme a break. Datsyuk and Lidstrom will make the Hall I'm sure, but please don't get carried away and mention Draper.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 11:21 pm

Red Wings' Draper announces retirement

 The Canucks have had a great team for a few years now, only one team wins the cup... They will be right back in the mix next season. Downtown Vancouver is just fine thank you, still beautiful and full of gorgeous women. How about Detroit? Is it still the a55hole of the USA? Ya, I thought so. The people who trashed the city are morons, I'm not about to defend them, but a few idiots don't represent the fanbase. Most of the rioters weren't even Canucks fans, just motards who wanted to trash and burn things. A rioted Vancouver still looks nicer than Detroit though, nice try bud.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 7:50 pm

Red Wings' Draper announces retirement

SteelWood56, you're a FOOL! Levels of respect go a long way but apparently you don't have a clue on what Kris Draper's impact as a role player/grinder does & how much success the Redwings had season after season w/the same grinders. They fed off eachothers weaknesses & put it all together making them very hard to go up against. Drapers Role as a Grinder payed dividends huge dividends despite winning 4 cups. People say the Cup only matters, yes to a degree but his Sucess/Properous career kept the Redwings as a Dynasty. You don't have to be a flashy scorer to make the HOF cause might I add he will be in the HOF. SteelWood56, when Pavel Datsyuk & N. Lids Retires do you think they'll go into the HOF? No doubt in my mind at this point in time they have HOF written all over them

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:09 pm

Red Wings' Draper announces retirement

not like he did much in the NHL?  he won 4 cups.  you are a moron...

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:47 pm

Red Wings' Draper announces retirement

Something alot of people don't think about. Is the incident of what happened to Kris Draper at the hands of Claude Lemieux, that may have been the singly most important thing to happen to the Detroit Red Wings team back in the mid 90s. That was the glue that brought the grind line altogether, and maybe the spark that lit the Red Wings into becoming a Dynasty.

Sure, people may say that Draper was not a 'superstar', but if you were a fan of the Red Wings, I would almost guarantee, that he was was of your top 4 or 5 favorite players on those great Red Wings teams.

Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:33 pm

Red Wings' Draper announces retirement

If there were a "grind line" or 3rd/4th line wing/section in the HOF, would Draper make it? He was very good in his role for a long time.

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