SUN Hockey Pool

How Draper paid for his own trade

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:52 PM ET

Some might call it the worst trade the Winnipeg Jets ever made.

Kris Draper thinks it’s one of the best.

On June 30, 1993, Jets GM Mike Smith sent Draper to the Detroit Red Wings for future considerations, which turned out to be $1.

“I don’t know if it was American or Canadian, either,” Draper said.

Then 22, Draper had spent most of his three years with the Jets in the minors.

Since the deal, Draper has played 17 seasons with the Red Wings, winning four Stanley Cups and the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward.

“I never would have thought things would work out the way they have,” Draper said. “It’s just been an unbelievable ride for me.”

One he can actually thank the Jets for, now.

“They didn’t see me as an NHL player, they didn’t think I was in their plans,” he said. “And they gave me an opportunity to go elsewhere. Obviously everything worked out pretty good in Detroit.”

After winning his first Stanley Cup in ’97, Draper walked up to Wings owner Mike Ilitch and handed him $1.

“So it really cost them nothing to get me,” Draper said. “I paid for my own trade.”

paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca


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