Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Former Red Wings forward Kris Draper’s dealing with retirement ‘the right way’

Forbes’ Robert Laura has been writing a series of articles about athletes approaching and dealing with retiring from playing sports for a living, and over the past week, he’s spoken to Deion Sanders, John Salley, Desmond Howard, Annika Sorenstam, Tito Ortiz, Al Iafrate, Shannon Miller and some guy named Kris Draper about the psychological, financial and I can only smile when reading Laura’s take on Draper’s mindset in the final installment of his series, “Life After Sports”:

By identifying the things that are most important to you, however, you can develop a no-regrets retirement plan and focus your time in the right places.

I asked former Detroit Red Wing Kris Draper what it was like in the locker room after the heated rivalry and all-out brawls they endured against the Colorado Avalanche.  He laughed and said, “Those were great times … and it was such a great rivalry because of the how great all of the players involved were.”  He literally rattled off eight to 10 players from each team, denoting how skilled each player was and their significance to the team, and how they contributed to one of the all-time great sports rivalries.

While I was hoping for some crazy of off-the-wall stories, Draper’s response exemplifies two of the most important qualities of a champion:  respect and discipline.  I wish he would have talked more about how so-and-so kicked so-and-so’s butt … but he didn’t.  The way Draper respects the players and games more than the shenanigans that take place on the ice is the way people should respect retirement.  Retirement truly is a privilege that some people never get to experience.  I recommend approaching it with the same respect and discipline you gave to your career, creating a legacy with purpose and meaning.

Continued, and as we all know, Draper is now a very important part of the Wings’ management team, with Laura describing Draper’s responsibilities as follows:

Kris Draper enters his second season as a special assistant to general manager Ken Holland and his 19th year overall with the organization.  In his position, Draper works closely with Detroit’s management team, assisting in player evaluation at both the professional and amateur levels.  He also provides input regarding potential trades and free agent signings, as well as insight into potential selections at the annual NHL Entry Draft.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


mrfluffy's avatar

Someone check out DRW.com…FB just flahsed a news conference tomorrow involving Lidstrom and Holland. Excuse me as I go dry heave in a paper bag and start drinking heavily.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 05/30/12 at 05:16 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.