Detroit's Kris Draper Retires
Draper was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets in 1993 for $1. Now, 17 years later, he walks away after finishing his most recent three-year $4.75 million contract with 1,157 NHL games under his belt, 161 goals scored, 203 assists, 364 points, and 709 PIM. Hockey players are lucky to win the Stanley Cup once in their careers, but Draper has been fortunate enough to raise the Cup over his head four times. In addition to that prestigious honor, he was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy back in 2004 for being the top defensemen in the NHL that season.
Draper has been the dream role model for hockey players everywhere both on and off the ice. His retirement speech only drove that point home. As he made one of the most difficult decisions he has had to make in his life, he took the time to thank every single person who has helped him in all facets of his career. Draper did not forget anyone as he thanked every player he has played with, the security guards in the parking lot, his wife and kids, and everyone in between.
The NHL will be a different place without a player like Kris Draper. He will continue to have an influence, as he will be taking a job in the Red Wing’s front office, but he will be greatly missed on the ice.