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Kris Draper Retirement Press Conference

Watch the press conference which is scheduled to start at 11:00am ET.

added 11:22am, Draper’s official retirement press release can be read below…

update 11:42am, Press conference is over.

Detroit, MI... Kris Draper, a four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008, announced today that he will retire from the National Hockey League after 20 seasons.  Draper appeared in 1,157 regular-season games, 222 postseason contests (ninth all-time in NHL history) and made six trips to the Stanley Cup Final during his career.

Draper, 40, was originally a third-round pick (62nd overall) of the Winnipeg Jets in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.  He made his NHL debut with the Jets on October 4, 1990, scoring his first career goal and picking up his first fighting major in a 7-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.  The 5’11”, 190 lb. forward played 20 games for Winnipeg from 1990-91 through 1992-93 before the Jets traded him to Detroit on June 30, 1993 in exchange for future considerations.

Draper would spend the next 17 seasons donning the winged wheel in the Motor City.  He split time between Adirondack (AHL) and Detroit in 1993-94, but became a fixture in the Red Wings lineup during the second half of the season.  Recognized for his speed and relentless effort, he played the pivot on what became known as the ‘Grind Line’ with Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty and, early on, Joe Kocur.  They formed one of the most revered lines in Red Wings history and played an integral role in helping Detroit end a 42-year drought by capturing the 1997 Stanley Cup with a sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers.  The ‘Grind Line’ was at it again in 1998, checking the top lines of opponents, killing penalties and wearing down opposing defenses en route to Detroit’s second consecutive title with a four-game sweep of the Washington Capitals.  Draper scored perhaps the biggest goal of his NHL career when he buried the game-winner at 4:36 of overtime in Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final against the Capitals that year.  Draper, Maltby and McCarty join Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom as the only players to hoist the Cup in each of Detroit’s last four championships.

The Toronto, Ontario, native was effective again in a supporting role as the talent-laden 2001-02 Red Wings marched through the regular-season and playoffs to claim the 10th Stanley Cup in franchise history.  Draper was one of three Red Wings to play in all 82 games that season and also suited up for all 23 postseason contests.  A penalty killer extraordinaire and face-off specialist, Draper continually supplied the Red Wings with all of the intangibles necessary to produce championship caliber teams.  This was a big reason he was named as an assistant captain prior to the 2006-07 season.

“Kris Draper has represented the Detroit Red Wings with nothing but class and dedication for the last 17 years,” said Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.  “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.”

Draper enjoyed the best statistical season of his career in 2003-04.  He registered career-highs with 24 goals, 40 points and five shorthanded goals in just 67 games.  Despite the jump in his offensive production, his defensive responsibilities never wavered and Draper was rewarded with the 2004 Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward.

On February 2, 2009, Draper became just the 235th player in NHL history to play in 1,000 career games when the Red Wings played host to the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena.  Six weeks later on March 17 against Philadelphia, he became just the fifth player in team history to play 1,000 games in a Red Wings sweater, joining Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, Steve Yzerman and Lidstrom.  His postseason longevity is equally impressive.  Draper never missed the playoffs in his 17 years with Detroit and appeared in 220 postseason games for the Red Wings, second in club history behind Lidstrom (258).

Draper also found success at the international level throughout his career.  He represented his native Canada at numerous IIHF competitions including the World Junior Championships (1990-gold, 1991-gold), the World Championships (2003-gold, 2005-silver), the World Cup of Hockey (2004-gold) and the Olympic Winter Games (2006).

Kris Draper, Center
Born May 24 1971 —Toronto, ONT
Height 5.11—Weight 190

Selected by Winnipeg in the third round (#62 overall) of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft

                            —- Regular Season—- ——Playoffs——
Season   Team                 Lge   GP   G   A Pts PIM GP   G   A Pts PIM
1990-91 Moncton Hawks           AHL   7   2   1   3   2 —————
1990-91 Winnipeg Jets           NHL   3   1   0   1   5 —————
1990-91 Ottawa 67’s           OHL   39   19   42   61   35 17   8 11 19 20
1991-92 Moncton Hawks           AHL   61   11   18   29 113   4   0   1   1   6
1991-92 Winnipeg Jets           NHL   10   2   0   2   2   2   0   0   0   0
1992-93 Moncton Hawks           AHL   67   12   23   35   40   5   2   2   4 18
1992-93 Winnipeg Jets           NHL   7   0   0   0   2 —————
1993-94 Adirondack Red Wings     AHL   46   20   23   43   49 —————
1993-94 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   39   5   8   13   31   7   2   2   4   4
1994-95 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   36   2   6   8   22 18   4   1   5 12
1995-96 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   52   7   9   16   32 18   4   2   6 18
1996-97 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   76   8   5   13   73 20   2   4   6 12
1997-98 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   64   13   10   23   45 19   1   3   4 12
1998-99 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   80   4   14   18   79 10   0   1   1   6
1999-00 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   51   5   7   12   28   9   2   0   2   6
2000-01 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   75   8   17   25   38   6   0   1   1   2
2001-02 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   82   15   15   30   56 23   2   3   5 20
2002-03 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   82   14   21   35   82   4   0   0   0   4
2003-04 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   67   24   16   40   31 12   1   3   4   6
2005-06 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   80   10   22   32   58   6   0   0   0   6
2006-07 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   81   14   15   29   58 18   2   0   2 24
2007-08 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   65   9   8   17   68 22   3   1   4 10
2008-09 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   79   7   10   17   40   8   1   0   1   0
2009-10 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   81   7   15   22   28 12   0   0   0 16
2010-11 Detroit Red Wings       NHL   47   6   5   11   12   8   0   1   1   2
      NHL Totals               1157 161 203 364 790 222 24 22 46 160

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+draper


MsRedWinger's avatar

Drapes made me cry.  His speech, in which he recognized everyone in the Red Wings organization down to the guy who made his omelet every morning, as well as the fans, his parents, his wife and kids, the fans and even the press, was touching beyond words.  What a classy guy!  So glad he is staying with the organ-I-zation.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 07/26/11 at 01:46 PM ET

bezukov's avatar


“I love this game, I especially love being a Red Wing.

Thanks Kris!

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/26/11 at 01:47 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by MsRedWinger from Florida, wishin’ I was back in the Mitten on 07/26/11 at 11:46 AM ET

Yeah I know you feel… I could use a drink after that speech.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/26/11 at 01:48 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

“I love this game, I especially love being a Red Wing.”

And that is what has endeared him to Wing fans throughout his time with the Organ-I-zation.

Thanks for everything Drapes.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 07/26/11 at 01:52 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

So glad he is staying with the organ-I-zation.
Posted by MsRedWinger from Florida, wishin’ I was back in the Mitten on 07/26/11 at 11:46 AM ET

My internet on base is really lagging….considering his relentless effort when he played, what do they have him doing…pre game Motivational speeches?

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 07/26/11 at 01:59 PM ET


@42jeff - Drapes or someone better talk to Hudler, before he ends up living in a van down by the (Oder) river.

Posted by mc keeper on 07/26/11 at 02:03 PM ET

BrendonTO's avatar

It says a lot about the organization.  Drapes can clearly still play - and skate! - and I’m sure another team would have gladly added him for a discount price.  But this is the Wings, and he couldn’t even fathom playing for anyone else, even though he probably could.  Thanks for everything Kris!

Posted by BrendonTO on 07/26/11 at 02:04 PM ET


New gig? Scouting? Player development?

Posted by rjman48 from Royal Oak on 07/26/11 at 02:30 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

New gig? Scouting? Player development?

Posted by rjman48 from Royal Oak on 07/26/11 at 12:30 PM ET

They didn’t say during the press conference but I’ll go with what George Malik thinks:  strength and conditioning coach.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 07/26/11 at 03:21 PM ET

Ducksworth's avatar

Still remember that OT goal against the Caps in game 2 of the 98 finals like it was yesterday. Thanks for the memories Drapes!

Posted by Ducksworth from Brownstown, MI on 07/26/11 at 04:00 PM ET

red_wings_49's avatar

He was an amazing player, a great TEAM player.  His work ethic was outstanding, and a lot of people can still learn a lot from that.  I’m glad he’s sticking around.  smile

Posted by red_wings_49 from Mad Heights, MI on 07/26/11 at 05:19 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

strength and conditioning coach.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Florida, wishin’ I was back in the Mitten on 07/26/11 at 01:21 PM ET

That makes sense to me too. Drapes is a Red Wing for life. He still could have gotten a gig with another team, but, his heart is formed in the shape of the Winged Wheel.

Thanks Drapes. For everything.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 07/26/11 at 05:35 PM ET

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