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Kirk Maltby to announce he is retiring

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It was definitely time. We're all getting older Malts. But what a career. And what a blue collar Red Wing through and through.

For a city like Detroit, the Wings should have a special category for players like Maltby. Not the most talented, but a hard working, loyal, lunchpail kind of player that was an important part of this franchise for 16 seasons.

It's just not gonna be the same without him out there irritating the crap out of guys, blocking shots, and taking punches in the face to draw a penalty.

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isn't draper's contract up next year? probably will retire next year. drapes will always be a favorite to me.

good luck kirk whatever you choose to do now!

i'd personally love to see maltby and draper be with the wings organization some how

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i want to respond to this in hopefully a thoughtful and respectful way. let me first say, i am not as far out as many of the people that were sick of maltby. however, i was against the signing this summer. also, i definitely do not advocate any bashing of lidstrom because he is still very important to the team. if anything, i think any negative comments were over the summer wishing he had taken a bigger pay cut.

to me, the reason many people get upset when these guys keep hanging on is because it is not for the good of the team. had maltby stuck around this year it would have meant losing another player. while someone like drew miller might not be the key to stanley cup success, he has more long term and short term upside than maltby.

the problem is that the wings organization will be loyal. so if players aren't willing to accept their best days are behind them, then they linger on for longer than they need to. when this happens, many fans can turn against the player. chelios lingered, maltby lingered, and draper is getting pretty darned close.

i am appreciative of what kirk maltby has done to help the wings over the last 15 years. it doesn't mean i had to be happy over his contract this summer. to say anyone who disagreed with your opinion is a moron is just silly and juvenile.

with all that said, i wish maltby a happy retirement. there ended up being no negative impact to the signing, so no ill will on my part going forward. (not that maltby or anyone cares about my ill will!)

Sorry, but anyone coming into a retirement thread to bash the retiree is a moron. Regardless of your opinion of the player, now or in the past, this isn't the right place to express it. Maltby played a significant role in establishing the standard of excellence to which so many Wings fans now feel entitled. We should all repect the man enough to wish him well now, or at the least, not say anything bad about him in his retirement thread.

55fan likes this

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Hell of a Career Malts had. Watching him, Drapes and Mac as a kid with my grand parents will always be memories I will cherish.

Me and the boys will be sure to raise a glass to Malts this weekend.

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isn't draper's contract up next year? probably will retire next year. drapes will always be a favorite to me.

good luck kirk whatever you choose to do now!

i'd personally love to see maltby and draper be with the wings organization some how

Malts is replacing Verbeek as a scout.

Is there video of his announcement anywhere?

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That's a double negative.

Congrats Maltby on a great career as a Wing! In honor, my avatar will be of us in TC trashed lol.

motivator984f0e77942bbdc4a315eacebeb8cc23a551ec5f.jpg

Vladifan likes this

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Just watched Malts give his retirement speech and got choked up along with him. Thanks for the great career and for being a part of one of the most memorable lines in Detroit. Malts is, was and always will be Red Wing and I'm glad he's taken a job within the organization to stay home where he belongs. Good luck Malts.

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This 100% - Everyone bitching about him "signing a contract" - What does it hurt to keep your options open?!?!? It was 2 way, so it doesn't count against the cap and maybe he didn't know he couldn't handle playing in the AHL until it was a reality...

I'm just glad he's not playing anywhere else... one hell of a career and that front office role is just waiting for you Malts!

I see him being a better fit on Vs' doing commentary w/ Engbloom & Jones. The three of them could form a new line- the bad hair line or perhaps the receading hair line. Throw in Olchyk and McCarty and you could have a full power play unit.

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i guess it would apply if i was hanging on to a job that i could no longer do competently when i should have retired a year or two ago and was getting paid more than younger employees that would no doubt do more for less.

i'm sure they'd say "about damn time".

hope that helps.

Well I guess it comes down to whose opinion really matters, your boss' opinion of you, or a fan's opinion of you.

Obviously Holland thought he could still do his job competently if he offered him another contract. If he hadn't, he wouldn't have offered him a contract at all.

The day you stop posting here I'm sure people will be saying it's about damn time, because apparently you don't have the competency to make a meaningful contribution to any discussion.

55fan likes this

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Just watched his retirement presser. I thought it was interesting that he even thanked the media for the privilege of getting to speak in front of them... really shows the amount of respect he has for people (I mean what kind of athlete thanks the media??). In this era of inflated egos he really was the quintessential team-player, and while Maltby was blessed to be part of the Wings for 14 years Detroit was blessed to have him suit up for the Winged Wheel for 14 years too.

Anyways all the best to Malts. :clap:

55fan and Ram like this

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apparently you don't have the competency to make a meaningful contribution to any discussion.

and yet people continue to be compelled to reply to me, which is more than you can say for half the posters on this site.

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Well I guess it comes down to whose opinion really matters, your boss' opinion of you, or a fan's opinion of you.

Obviously Holland thought he could still do his job competently if he offered him another contract. If he hadn't, he wouldn't have offered him a contract at all.

The day you stop posting here I'm sure people will be saying it's about damn time, because apparently you don't have the competency to make a meaningful contribution to any discussion.

do you really think thats the case? to me, its more of the typical example of wings loyalty. offer a guy a contract because its the 'right thing' to do, not necessarily because the player is still capable of producing at the nhl level. even when the contract was signed, holland was very clear that it was primarily going to be a grand rapids role. all 29 other gm's also had a shot at him on the waiver wire and none felt he could contribute at the nhl level either.

i am not trying to be all negative in the retirement thread, but just hoping to provide an objective opinion on why people were against the signing.

also, i am watching nhl live on the nhl network, and they mentioned that they are hoping to have maltby on the show later. if they get anything definite i will let you guys know.

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maltby is supposed to be on nhl live in a few minutes.

edit: he's on right now. its 1:34

edit 2: interview over. its 1:39. went well. maltby sounded good and excited for the future.

Edited by dobbles

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sorry, had to shut it off as soon as i saw that corpse stan fischler is still co-hosting. like grandpa simpson talking hockey.

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Malts, Mac, Stevie Y, Fedorov ( dont flame me, you know you love him too), Lids, Draper... these are the Red Wings I grew up watching. Thanks for the great run with us Malts, you did a hell of a good job.

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Malts, Mac, Stevie Y, Fedorov ( dont flame me, you know you love him too), Lids, Draper... these are the Red Wings I grew up watching. Thanks for the great run with us Malts, you did a hell of a good job.

This is just another thing that lets me know my childhood is over. Watching all the players I grew up admiring are retired or in the twilight of their careers is sad. So many good memories these players provided over the past 14+ years.

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Kirk Maltby was one of those heart and soul guys you need on a team. Willing to block shots, take hits, and on top of that, he killed penalties like no other (in his prime). One of the best defensive forwards this team has seen, in my mind. Malts, you'll always be a son of Detroit. Congratulations on a great career.

55fan likes this

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Don't know if this was posted already but I thought it was a nice read.

By Nicholas J. Cotsonika, Yahoo Sports

Gritty Maltby's long gring comes to an end.

If one moment can sum up a 16-season NHL career, for Kirk Maltby, this is it: Game 5, Western Conference semifinals, 2002. The Detroit Red Wings were trying to eliminate the St. Louis Blues. Maltby was killing a penalty.

Blues defenseman Al MacInnis, who had one of the most fearsome slap shots in hockey, broke Maltby’s stick with a blast from the point. But Maltby didn’t give up. He positioned himself like a goalie, crouched, hands out. He blocked another shot. And another. Joe Louis Arena roared, the fans chanting his name as if he were a superstar scorer: “MALT-BY! MALT-BY!”

“I think I was on the ice with him, and I was chanting his name, too,” recalled Wings center Kris Draper. “He’d do anything to help the team win. That’s why you miss a guy like that.”

Maltby retired on Tuesday, and the game lost more than just another grinder. It lost another member of the Grind Line, Detroit’s beloved blue-collar checking unit, and it lost a type of guy that was already rare and is becoming even rarer in the salary cap era: a role player who spends a long time with one team.

“I’d just like to think I was a guy who came, worked hard – whether practice or the game – and come game-time all I wanted to do was win and did what I had to do to help my team,” Maltby said in a farewell news conference.

The Wings won that Game 5 against the Blues, 4-0. Maltby shrugged off the fans’ chants much the way he handled his retirement. (“I was just out there trying to do my job,” he said then. “The equipment is pretty good these days.”) But the Wings went on to win the Stanley Cup, and it’s no coincidence.

Consider this: Only five players had their names engraved on the Cup each of the last four times the Wings won it – 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008. That group does not include legendary captain Steve Yzerman. It does not include superstars like Sergei Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan. Its only regal member is Nicklas Lidstrom, a six-time winner of the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman. The other four are role players: Tomas Holmstrom, whose specialty is screening goalies on the power play, and the Grind Line guys – Maltby, Draper and Darren McCarty. (And Holmstrom almost shouldn’t count. He appeared in only one playoff game in 1997.)

The Grind Line had a special place in the heart of Detroit and the game of hockey. Anyone who had worked at an auto plant or hustled in a cold rink could appreciate the job done by Maltby, Draper and McCarty – work that was especially important at the most important time.

“If you’re going to win come playoff time, you need skill,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in the news conference. “But you also need people who want to go to the trenches and do the dirty work.”

Maltby literally got his hands dirty. It seemed he would wear the same nasty, discolored gloves all season, which would make his face washes all the more effective. Maltby was a master agitator, spraying ice shavings into goalies’ faces, getting into it with opponents, drawing punches and penalties.

“I was a pain in the ass,” Maltby said. “But I didn’t mind giving those shots. I know I took my share of shots, too. I didn’t mind that. I liked that. It’s kind of the game within the game.”

But don’t be fooled. Just because Maltby accepted and excelled in his role didn’t mean he couldn’t play the actual game. He could hit, skate and score. He had 50 goals and 91 points his last year in junior, and even though he never had more than 14 goals or 37 points in an NHL season, he chipped in key goals at playoff time.

“The beauty of that line was that they had skill,” Holland said. “When they got the puck, they hung onto the puck and made it difficult for the other team to get their hands on the puck. Usually, a checking line, when they check, they throw the puck away.”

Maltby spent his first two-plus NHL seasons with the Edmonton Oilers. But after the Wings acquired him during the 1995-96 season, he spent the rest of his career in Detroit – well over a decade. That was unusual for any era, but this was a unique situation.

Holland valued the contributions of the Grind Line. He allowed McCarty to earn a second chance in 2007-08 and ’08-09, even though McCarty had gone through personal and professional problems after leaving the Wings after the ’03-04 season. He has kept Draper as a depth player and mentor, even though Draper is 39 and far from the form that won him the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward in 2004, knowing Draper took less money to stay in Detroit when he was his most marketable. He gave Maltby one last chance at the NHL this season at age 37, signing him to a two-way contract, and when Maltby decided not to accept a demotion to the minors to wait for a call-up, he gave him a job in the organization as a scout.

“For role players or grinders or whatever you want to say,” Draper said, “to be able to stay in a city as long as both of us have is something that we really appreciate, we know is very special, very rare.”

How often will we see this in the future? Teams might sign an Alex Ovechkin, an Ilya Kovalchuk or even a Marc Savard to a long-term contract. But a Kirk Maltby? That’s the type of guy most easily replaced by a younger, cheaper player. It’s the natural cycle of life – and it happened here, too – but now it will be only accelerated.

The decline of the Grind Line has been a long time coming. Joe Kocur, who actually preceded McCarty on the unit and was on the original Grind Line T-shirts, retired after the 1998-99 season. McCarty retired after the 2008-09 season. Now it’s Maltby’s turn, and Draper said: “My day is coming, too.”

Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm, two 23-year-olds, are Detroit’s next generation of grinders. They should be only so lucky to be like Maltby, to hear their names chanted after a gutsy play at the Joe, to finish with four Stanley Cup rings.

“He’s a gamer,” Draper said. “He’s a guy that when you’re in the playoffs and the game’s on the line, you want him on your bench, on your side.”

55fan and Vladifan like this

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This is just another thing that lets me know my childhood is over. Watching all the players I grew up admiring are retired or in the twilight of their careers is sad. So many good memories these players provided over the past 14+ years.

Tell me about it. I first started watching the Wings when I was in grammar school and almost all those guys are either just about retired or already retired and moving on to other things. People younger than us will feel the same way when Pavs and Hank and Mule and that crowd retires.

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Tell me about it. I first started watching the Wings when I was in grammar school and almost all those guys are either just about retired or already retired and moving on to other things. People younger than us will feel the same way when Pavs and Hank and Mule and that crowd retires.

Hits me every time a veteran retires. Guys that I always remember watching as I was growing up: Kirk Maltby, Aaron Ward, Darcy Tucker..the list keeps building.

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