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@ JOE LOUIS ARENA:
† † Veteran Red Wing FWD Kris
Draper announced his retirement
at a T 7/25/11 morning news
conference, becoming the third
longtime Red Wings player to call
it quits this summer.
† † Draper joined DEF Brian
Rafalski and goalie Chris Osgood
as the newest members of the
Red Wing Alumni club.
† † Draper will take an as yet
undefined role in the Red Wing front
office, yet vowed to again be the best conditioned team member when the
Wings report to training camp in Traverse City, MICH in September.
† † The 40-year old Draper was a 3rd-round draft pick of the original Winnipeg
Jets in 1989 and spent parts of three seasons with the Jets. He came to Detroit
on June 30, 1993 in exchange for future considerations which turned out to be
a one-dollar waiver fee. Draper then played 17 seasons in a Red Wing sweater.
† † Draper was a member of four Detroit Stanley Cup Champions in 1997, 1998,
2002 and 2008 and he played in six S-Cup finals. Draper played 1,157 NHL regular
season games and 222 playoff contests (9th all-time in NHL Stanley Cup history).
His 220 post-season appearances for Detroit are second most in franchise
history behind Nicklas Lidstrom's 258.
† † Draper's face-first check into the boards by Colorado's Claude Lemieux
in the 1996 playoffs resulted in multiple facial fractures to the smallest of the
Detroit "Grind Liners" and set the stage for a feud with the Avalanche that lasted
more than a decade. †
† † Draper's best stats season was 2003-04 when he posted career-highs of 24
goals including five shorthanded goals and 40 points. Draper continued his
excellent defensive play that season and was awarded the Selke Trophy as the
NHL's best defensive forward.
† † Representing Canada in five different international tournaments, Draper was
a member of the 2006 Team Canada at the Winter Olympic Games.
† † Draper's 20th NHL season in 2010-11 saw his ice time decline and, in spite of
his faceoff circle ability, he was a frequent healthy scratch. Draper had 6-G & 5-A
in 47 regular season games and just 1-A in eight playoff contests.
FORMER R-WING FWD KRIS DRAPER: † "I want to thank Bryan Murray and Doug
MacLean [Detroit's management team in 1993] for making the blockbuster
trade to acquire me from Winnipeg for that whopping one dollar. My first thought
was at the time I couldn't make the Winnipeg Jets, how am I going to make the
Detroit Red Wings?...I love this game. I love everything about it. I love the
training, I love competing...It is a sad day because my hockey career is over.
Itís something that Iíve loved to do. Every day I get into the car. Itís game day.
I get to the pre-game skate. I go to lunch with 13-14 of my teammates...Iím
really going to miss being a hockey player. Iím really going to miss throwing
on ĎDraper 33í [jersey]...Scoring in the Stanley Cup finals in 1998 was special. Itís
something that Iíll never forget. To be able to score a big [overtime] goal like that
in the Stanley Cup finals, and it put us up 2-0, and then we went on to sweep
Washington...Playing in 1,000 games is something that Iím proud of, but to play in
1,000 games as a Red Wing is something that Iím certainly very proud of...Winning
the Selke and having my name on the same trophy as Bob Gainey, Pavel Datsyuk,
Steve Yzerman, those guys, thatís a true honor."
R-WING GM KEN HOLLAND: † "Kris Draper has represented the Detroit Red Wings
with nothing but class and dedication for the last 17 years. His extraordinary
work ethic has provided a great example for all players within our organization
and his influence on the young players in our system will be felt for years to come.
I cannot thank Kris enough for all he has done for us. He is a true professional."
† † †
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