Veteran Detroit Red Wings forward Kris Draper retires after 20 NHL seasons

DETROIT - Gritty forward Kris Draper, who helped the Detroit Red Wings win four Stanley Cup titles, retired Tuesday after 20 NHL seasons.

Draper, 40, appeared in 1,157 career regular-season games, 222 playoff contests and played in six Stanley Cup finals.

The Toronto native was a third-round pick of the Winnipeg Jets in 1989 and made his NHL debut with the franchise Oct. 4, 1990, scoring a goal in a 7-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Draper appeared in 20 games with Winnipeg before being dealt to Detroit on June 30, 1993, for US$1, which was the waiver price at the time.

Draper went on to spend 17 seasons with Detroit. He played in 1,137 games, the fifth-most in club history.

"Kris Draper has represented the Detroit Red Wings with nothing but class and dedication for the last 17 years," Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a statement. "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 finished with 364 career points, including 161 goals. His best statistical season was 2003-'04 when he had 24 goals and 16 assists in 67 games and was named the NHL's top defensive forward.

He also had 24 goals and 22 assists in the playoffs.

Draper never missed the post-season in his 17 years with Detroit and his 220 career playoff appearances is second-most in club history behind defenceman Niklas Lidstrom (258).

Draper was also a member of the Canadian team that won gold at the 2003 world championship and World Cup of Hockey in 2004. He also represented Canada at the 2006 Winter Games.