Kris Draper is happy to be #winning

SAN JOSE – Leave it to Jimmy Howard to describe the staying power of the ‘One Dollar Man.’

“Kris Draper is a competitor and he loves being out there, even for practice,” Howard said. “I think that’s one of the reasons he’s been able to stay with one organization like he has, because he is such a great guy and he’s such a team guy.”

And as winter turns to spring and the dog days transform into playoff beauties, nobody has more fun on the ice than the 39-year-old Draper.

“I was reading the quotes from Nathan Horton of the Bruins, who said it was his dream come true to play in the playoffs,” Draper said. “We’ve been so lucky to do it as many years as we’ve had.”

“I’ve been on both sides, winning the Stanley Cup and getting bounced in the first round. Those are the things that stand out the most, working so hard and spending so much time on it and then maybe that quickly, it’s over.”

His face lights up at this time of year, and his teammates are the first to notice, including longtime veteran, and seemingly polar opposite from a personality standpoint, Todd Bertuzzi, no stranger to playoff battles himself.

“He’s obviously done a lot for Detroit and this team,” Bertuzzi said. “The guy always shows up to play and always fits into any role that he’s been given.”

Including this season, as Draper was rotated as a healthy scratch with the younger Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves. Though as he would tell you, experience, even by some of its youngest players is this team’s biggest attributes.

“These guys over the last three or four years have been a part of long successful playoff runs and that’s experience you just can’t teach,” Draper. “Look at guy like Darren Helm. He’s young. Yet he’s been there on that stage before and you can’t teach a young player what that’s going to be like. They have to experience it for themselves.”

Still, it is hard, even for those younger guys to match the energy of Chuck Norris/Draper this time of year. Even from afar, it’s impossible not to notice a veteran leader soaking up each and every moment of a new day of hockey life can bring.

“He’s like a little kid for sure,” Tomas Holmstrom said. “He’s good to have. He makes everyone else relaxed, talking about, joking around.”

“He’s probably the only guy that celebrates Christmas twice a year.”

Or as he’d probably put it, he’s one of 23 guys who just want to be ‘duh, winning’ and having fun doing it.

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About Jake Duhaime

Social Networking Manager for the Detroit Red Wings
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11 Responses to Kris Draper is happy to be #winning

  1. maddie says:

    i love u guys

  2. Tammy says:

    You have some pretty big fans in my house. Good luck on your “Shark Hunt”

  3. Yolanda Brooks says:

    I can’t wait for Saturday night game!!! I’ve been a Fan of the Red Wings since 1990. There is no team like the Wings!!!

  4. Robbi LeRoy says:

    This article is so true! Kris is enthusiastic about hockey and life and is willing to work hard for great results. I love how he is the second one on the ice behind the goalie for every game that he plays and he always plays hard! He’s the one (used to be Maltby too) who serves the pucks to the guys during practice too, someone’s got to do it and he doesn’t mind! He’s just happy to be there and that excitement is contagious to the whole team. I love Kris and I think he’s still very important to our Red Wings, especially during play-offs! GO RED WINGS!! We’ll be watching and cheering!!

  5. Brynne says:

    Kris Draper has been my favorite player since I can remember. The reason he’s my favorite is because of everything in this article, his love for his team and the game is just amazing, he’s a great guy.

  6. Hal Jonas says:

    I’ve been a Red Wing fan since the early 50’s. WatchingLindsey Howe and Able, Kelly, Pronovost, Sawchuck play. I have seen a lot of players during this time and I must say that Draper exlemplfies the storied history of the Red Wings. He just plays hard and is what in hockey is called a digger. I know his career is winding down just as he knows it, but he will live in the history of the Red Wings forever just as Howe, Lindsey and Able.

  7. Hal Jonas says:

    I’ve watched and followed the Red Wings since 1950. Watching Lindsey, Howe and Able, Pronovost, Kelly, and Sawchuch. I’ve seen a lot of players come and go and I mean great ones. Kris Draper exlemplifies the storied history of the Red Wings everytime he takes the ice. He is what hocey refers to as a “Digger” He just keeps coming at you. He will go down as one of the Red Wings who make the Red Wings what they are. “One of the greatest franchises in hockey and what made Detrot “Hockey Town “

  8. Jean Brazeau says:

    I’m glad your winning too Kris,I’m especially glad for all of you because of all the hard work you’ve accomplished!! GO RED WINGS!!!!

  9. Jodi B says:

    Love this article. Draper has been such a gift to this team, best player a dollar can buy, haha. I have been a Red Wings fan since the early 80’s and loved to watch the Grind Line. Miss Maltby and McCarty, but glad to see that Draper is in there getting it done, and enjoying every minute of it. He truly does exemplify the Red Wings spirit!!

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