Draper set to announce retirement

Red Wings forward Kris Draper skates during the during warm-up before playing the Flames in...

Red Wings forward Kris Draper skates during the during warm-up before playing the Flames in Calgary, Alta., Jan. 7, 2011. (AL CHAREST/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:30 PM ET

The Detroit Red Wings' last connection to the Grind Line of the 1990s is ready to retire.

Forward Kris Draper, who teamed up with Kirk Maltby and Joe Kocur to form what might have been hockey's best checking line at the time, will end his 20-year NHL career at a press conference Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings leaked news of the impending retirement announcement in a photo gallery on their official website. A photo caption that has since been removed said Draper retired "July 26, 2011."

Draper, an unrestricted free agent, wanted to play another season, but the Red Wings opted to go with a younger forward next season. Rather than play elsewhere, Draper will hang up his skates.

"Detroit is home," he told the Detroit News last week.

Draper joined the Red Wings in 1993 after being traded by the Winnipeg Jets for $1. He developed into a top-flight, two-way forward and won the Stanley Cup four times with the Red Wings, racking up 161 goals and 203 assists in 1,157 career games along the way.

The 40-year-old from Toronto is the latest aging Wing to retire this summer. Defenceman Brian Rafalski surprised many by retiring in May while goaltender Chris Osgood packed it in last week.


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