After 1,009 career games and one Stanley Cup championship, Dallas Drake announced his retirement as a player on July 12.
"I love the game as much as I ever have," Drake said, "Mentally, I think I really want to play, but my body has just gotten to the point where I just don't recover very well anymore and I don't play up to a level that you become used to playing, a physical level that I was used to playing.
"I think the years kind of wore me out a little bit. You keep telling yourself to play as long as you can, and I think I've done that," Drake told reporters in a teleconference.
"There was a lot of speculation on whether I would play anymore, and I just wanted to formally announce my retirement. I've played a long time and had a lot of fun.
"I just feel that after winning the Stanley Cup this year, there's not a better way for me to go out, and a lot of thanks goes out to the Detroit organization for giving me another chance."
Dallas Drake was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft in the sixth round, 116th overall. During his junior year at Northern Michigan, he was a key factor in the team winning the 1991 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship.
Drake's rookie season in 1992-93 saw him post 44 points on 18 goals and 26 assists. The next season, he was traded to the Winnipeg Jets along with goaltender Tim Cheveldae.
The Red Wings received Sergei Bautin and goaltender Bob Essensa in return. This trade wasn't good for the Wings. Essensa appeared in just 13 games. While Drake went to have a successful role on the checking lines and penalty kill units of the of the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes.
Although as a professional player he's never been the goal scorer he was in college, his knowledge of the game, leadership and competitiveness allowed him to play in 1,009 NHL games.
Drake signed with St. Louis Blues for the 2000-01 season, and remained there for six seasons. He achieved his career high in goals with 20 during the 2002-03 season, and was named as the team's captain for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.
Drake was placed on waivers by the Blues on June 26, 2007, trying to buy out his contract. Two weeks later, he was signed as an UFA by the Detroit Red Wings to a one-year, $550,000 contract.
He chose to return to Detroit in hopes of winning a Stanley Cup with the club that had drafted him over 16 years ago. One year later, those dreams were realized when the Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins to win their 11th Stanley Cup Championship.
During the on-ice celebrations the team's captain Nicklas Lidström passed the Stanley Cup to Dallas Drake first.
Drake said he'll spend a lot of time with his family in Traverse City, Mich.