Kris Draper of Detroit Red Wings Expected To Announce Retirement

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Kris Draper of Detroit Red Wings Expected To Announce Retirement
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According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Kris Draper of the Detroit Red Wings will announce his retirement on Tuesday during a scheduled news conference.

When the Red Wings first acquired Draper he was a nobody. In fact, the Wings bought Draper off the Winnipeg Jets for $1. This was a costly mistake for the Jets, but a great pickup for the Wings. 

Draper was hoping to play another season in Detroit. He is still in playing shape; however, because of roster issues, Draper would most likely be sent to the AHL.

In the 47 games he played in the 2010-11 season he had 11 points. He may not have been at the top of his game, but it was his dedication to the Wings organization that made him a fan favorite.

He will most likely be remembered as part of the "Grind Line," famous for its gritty style of play. Darren McCarty, Kirk Maltby and Joe Kocur were also a part of this line. Draper is the last player to retire.

Draper's career is a long one and almost ended early in Detroit when he received a check from behind during the 1996 Western Conference finals. Colorado Avalanche forward Claude Lemieux delivered the hit and the damage was done. 

Draper suffered a broken jaw, broken nose, broken cheekbone and a concussion. The Wings lost the series but would not forget what happened. On March 26, 1997, a massive fight broke out on the ice between Colorado and Detroit. This fight became known as the "Brawl in Hockeytown."

The next season, Detroit versed Colorado again in the playoffs and won.

Draper's talent in the faceoff was well known around the NHL, but it was not until 2003-04 that he had a great season offensively. He had 24 goals that season, which allowed him to win the Selke Trophy that year for being the best defensive forward.  

Draper went on to win four Stanley Cups (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008) and is one of the few Wings to play over 1,000 games.  

Draper joins Chris Osgood and Brain Rafalski, who also retired after the 2010-11 season. 

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