It took him a long time, but Dallas Drake finally got what he wanted. This season marked his 16th in the NHL and so far in his career he'd been cup-less.
Drake was originally drafted by the Detroit Red Wings back in 1989, 116th overall. His career began in Detroit after a four-year stint in college at the Northern Michigan University.
After just one and a half seasons with the Wings, Dallas Drake was traded to the Winnipeg Jets in the 1993-94 season, along with Tim Cheveldae, for Bob Essena and Sergei Bautin.
He would later move to Phoenix with the rest of the Winnipeg Jets franchise and then was claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets three years later in the expansion draft. However, he would not play for the Jackets as he signed on to play with the St. Louis Blues just a week after that.
He would ultimately be named team captain in St. Louis, but after the 2006-07 season the franchise deemed his as a waste of a roster spot and they then proceeded to buy him out. Fortunately for Drake, the Wings did not see him this way and he signed a one-year deal to finish his career where it started.
It turned out to be a win-win for both sides as Drake proved to the St. Louis Blues that they were completely wrong about him and he proved to be one of the hardest working grinders on the team. He provided invaluable leadership and proved to be a resilient penalty killer—he just never gave up.
He was great in the regular season, but the playoffs were where he really began to show his worth. Playing on a line with Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper, Drake worked out with the other two to keep the opposing teams' second lines off the score sheet and they proved to be near perfect.
Drake was also one of the top penalty killers and he proved many skeptical Wings' fans wrong as a lot of people went about complaining how Drake was washed up. Oh how wrong we all were.
As for Drake, his lifelong battle to win the Stanley Cup was finally over and he could retire knowing he came out on top. He will be forever missed in the city of Detroit.
Drake had 177 goals, 300 assists, and 885 penalty minutes in 1,009 regular season games. He had 14 goals, 19 assists, and 79 penalty minutes in 90 playoff games.