Draper to announce retirement Tuesday

DETROIT — The Wings have scheduled a press conference at Joe Louis Arena Tuesday at 11 a.m. where Kris Draper and general manager Ken Holland will be present.

A source has confirmed that Draper has announce his retirement.

Draper, 40, played 17 seasons in Detroit.

Draper’s retirement announcement comes just a week after Chris Osgood decided to hang it up as well.

“I don’t want to go to camp on a tryout,” Draper said last week. “I’ve played through many scenarios. I’m going to do what’s best for my family. I’m just going to listen to Kenny and then I’ll talk to my family and go from there.”

Last season, Kirk Maltby was in the same situation.

The Wings offered him a one-year, two-way contract, which really meant he was fighting to just make the team at training camp.

Maltby did not make and wound up retiring on Oct. 12.

“He’s a Detroit Red Wing and he wants to stay a Detroit Red Wing,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said last week. “He he loves Detroit, but we have 13 or 14 forwards.”

With the re-signing of Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller, the Wings have 13 forwards signed to one-way contracts for next season.

Rookie Cory Emmerton has a two-way deal, but is out of options so therefore can’t be sent back to Grand Rapids without first clearing waivers.

Holland has said he will more than likely carry 14 forwards on the roster next season. The roster limit is 23.

“We have cap space, but it’s really about a roster spot,” Holland said. “If he plays another year his role will be diminishing.

“We need young players to push for ice time and eventually take over older player’s jobs,” Holland added. “If that’s not happening, we’re not doing our job.”

Draper suffered a groin injury at training camp last year and eventually needed to have sports hernia surgery.

He played just 47 games last season and had six goals and five assists.

“We need to continue to work more young people onto the team,” Holland said. “You have to draft, develop and stick to the plan. Our plan is to slowly move more and more young people onto the team. I always hear about the old Red Wings and how we have older players. We’re not the old Red Wings.

“There will always be change,” Holland added. “It’s necessary. It’s good. We want an older element to our team. If you want to contend for the Stanley Cup, there has to be an older element.”

Draper was acquired by the Wings for just a dollar.

Former Wings assistant general manager Doug MacLean got Draper from the Winnipeg Jets on June 30, 1993 for future considerations, which wound up being a dollar.

In 1,157 games, Draper had 161 goals and 203 assists.

Draper won four Stanley Cups with the Wings.


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