Draper quite a smoothie for a buck

Kris Draper of the Detroit Red Wings during warm up before playing the Calgary Flames in NHL hockey...

Kris Draper of the Detroit Red Wings during warm up before playing the Calgary Flames in NHL hockey in Calgary, Alberta,Friday January 7, 2011. (AL CHAREST/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:36 PM ET

As he announced his retirement, Kris Draper was sure to get in his two cents' worth about being traded once for a buck.

Draper, 40, called it quits Tuesday in Detroit after a distinguished 20-year career, mainly with the Red Wings.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound centre spent his first three seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, who had drafted him in the third round in 1989.

But apparently the Jets didn't think he had much of a future: They traded Draper to Detroit in 1993 for the princely sum of $1.

I'm here to announce my retirement as a player," Draper said at a press conference at Joe Louis Arena. "This is something I have thought long and hard about with my family, friends and teammates.

"I would like to thank Bryan Murray (then the Wings general manager) and Doug MacLean (who was the GM of Detroit's farm team) for making that whopping trade with Winnipeg to acquire me for a dollar."

The Wings certainly got their money's worth.

Draper went on to play 1,137 regular-season games in Detroit and win four Stanley Cups.

As Wings owner Mike Ilitch said Tuesday: "I never dreamed I'd get a player for the price of a smoothie at McDonalds."

Draper established himself as a hard-working, reliable player. He was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward in 2003-04 -- also his best offensive season, as he collected 24 goals.

"Kris Draper has represented the Detroit Red Wings with nothing but class and dedication for the last 17 years," Red 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.''

Draper won Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008 and became only the fifth player, after Alex Delvecchio, Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom, to play 1,000 games in a Red Wings uniform.

Early in his career, he, Kirk Maltby and Joey Kocur formed the Grind Line, and Draper excelled at killing penalties.

Draper also played internationally for Canada, winning gold medals at the 2003 world championship and 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He was a member of the Canadian team at the 2006 Olympics in Turin.

He became the third Red Wing to retire since the end of the 2010-11 season, following Brian Rafalski and Chris Osgood.

"I never thought I was going to last this long," Draper said. "I never thought I was going to be with the greatest organization, the Detroit Red Wings."

He had 161 goals and 203 assists in 1,157 regular-season games, and 24 goals and 22 assists in 222 playoff games.

Draper will join the Wings front office, working with Holland and assistant GM Jim Nill.

MUCH-TRAVELLED WILLIAMS A PEN

Jason Williams, whose up-and-down career includes a 58-point season with Detroit in 2005-06, has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The deal is worth $600,000 at the NHL level -- a far cry from the two-year, $3.2-million contract Williams signed with the Red Wings after his breakout year.

Williams, who turns 31 on Aug. 11, had two goals and three assists in 27 games with the Dallas Stars in 2010-11. He also registered nine points in 17 games with Connecticut of the American Hockey League.

Overall, the winger has 93 goals and 132 assists in 447 games with Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Columbus and Dallas.

HOT-SHOT LEAF

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Greg McKegg, 19, of St. Thomas, Ont., is pretty effective with a golf club instead of a hockey stick in his hands.

McKegg tied for third Monday at the Rob Killeen Invitational, an amateur golf tournament at the Highland Country Club in London, Ont., which featured numerous more experienced players.

McKegg was the first-round leader with a 70 and followed up with a 71, finishing two strokes behind Drew Symons, who won in a playoff.

But McKegg, a third-round draft pick in 2010, plans to stick to hockey/ He signed a three-year contract with the Leafs in the spring and likely will return to junior next season.

"Golf's just a hobby," he said.

JETS SIGN RUSSIAN

The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to terms with centre Ivan Telegin, 19, who was drafted in the fourth round in 2010.

Telegin, a native of Novokuznetsk, Russia, has played the past two seasons with the OHL's Saginaw Spirit, getting 46 goals and 59 assists in 110 games.

BRIEFLY

Ron Rolston is expected to be named Wednesday as coach of the Buffalo Sabres' AHL farm team, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports. Rolston has been coach of the U.S. development program ... Andy Murray was confirmed Tuesday as coach of Western Michigan University. Murray previously coached the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues ... The Penguins have signed their 2011 second-round draft pick, defenceman Scott Harrington, to a three-year entry-level contract ... The Nashville Predators have signed 2009 fourth-round pick Craig Smith to a two-year entry-level contract.


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