Long-time Detroit Red Wings forward Kris Draper officially announced his retirement after 20 NHL seasons.
The 40-year-old played in just 47 games a year ago, tallying six goals and 11 points -- his lowest single-season totals since a five-goal, 12-point campaign in 1999-2000.
"I'm here to announce my retirement as a player," Draper said at a Tuesday morning press conference. "This is something I have thought long and hard about with my family, friends and teammates. I would like to thank Bryan Murray and Doug MacLean for making that whopping trade with Winnipeg to acquire me for a dollar."
Draper, a third-round draft pick of the original Winnipeg Jets in the 1989 draft, played 17 of his 20-year NHL career in Detroit. He is one of a handful of players to have won all four of the franchise's most recent Stanley Cups.
After spending 20 games over his first three pro seasons with Winnipeg, he was acquired by the Wings on June 30, 1993 for that memorable sum. He found a home in the Motor City, dressing for more than 1,100 regular-season games and all but two of his career playoff appearances.
"Kris Draper has represented the Detroit Red Wings with nothing but class and dedication for the last 17 years," said 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."
In 1,157 regular-season games since 1990, the Toronto native posted 161 goals and 364 points with the Jets and Red Wings. Over 222 playoff tilts, he added 24 goals and 46 points.
One of this generation's consummate grinders and short-handed specialists, Draper is probably best remembered for an ugly incident during Game 6 of the 1996 Western Conference Finals.
Early in the contest, which saw the Avalanche finish off an upset of the Wings and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, he was on the receiving end of a vicious hit from behind by Colorado's Claude Lemieux. The resultant collision with the boards near the benches caused extensive damage to Draper's face that required multiple reconstructive surgeries.
Draper rebounded to play a full season the following year, and helped the Wings claim the first of four titles in a 12-year span.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times