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Draper the goal scorer

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Draper is having a really good year and seems to have some good chemistry going on with Helm and Miller/Eaves. I don't like his cap hit, but there's no denying he's a locker room asset and plays 110% every night. If he were to re-sign for $600k or something, that's a bargain for his leadership and experience.

Alas, Holland's going to have a tough decision ahead of him IMO. Mursak and Emmerton must play next year or be exposed to waivers, and I think Draper has a good year or two left in him. Should Holland let Miller and one of Mursak or Emmerton go and re-sign Drapes?

I'd imagine Holland will want to explore FA to find a skilled scorer to replace Modano? As for cap space... Draper, Osgood and Modano takes $4.5 million off the books. I doubt Jimmy Howard will get much of raise and we'll need a backup. Maybe Osgood for another year since he won't have any nuts...

I like Draper. It makes me sad and excited to see this team change. It's sad to see the 1996, 1997 guys completely dismantle.. but I am also excited about the youth movement.

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I think holland will sign draper til the day he decides to retire. Draper still has a lot of jump left and I wouldnt mind it with a lower cap hit

The Secret likes this

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Ken Holland might have to throw in a 6000 SUX to sweeten the deal.

He best make his mind up quick, apparently he has 20 seconds to comply......

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I think that as long as guys like Draper, Holmstrom, and Bertuzzi can keep being productive, then keep signing them. I love having a few wily veterans on the team. I think Bert's steal/goal yesterday was a prime example of that. Up until Chelios' last season, he was fun to watch out there with the "whipper-snappers". I recall one game a couple of years ago when Chelios (without looking) side-stepped a guy taking a run at him, causing the guy to board himself... Mickey laughed and said "I think Chris has seen that move a couple of times in his career!"

Vladifan, Selliria and T.Low like this

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If he were playing like he was last year, i'd let him go.

This year, he is playing great IMO and i wouldnt mind them resigning him for next season

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This guy may be the hardest worker on the team. I am blown away by how well he's playing. He could be 27 years old and there wouldn't be a difference. Its a lot of fun to watch and my hats off to him. If I were Kenny, knowing how Kenny runs the Wings, Draper would be back next year and Emmerton would be traded at the deadline.

Vladifan likes this

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If he were playing like he was last year, i'd let him go.

This year, he is playing great IMO and i wouldnt mind them resigning him for next season

You are mistaken. Draper had an excellent season last year, and was on our only consistent line with Helm and Eaves, and ended up 8th on our team in scoring out of the forwards. This year he is doing more of the same thing.

Perhaps you are thinking of 08-09 when he had the team's worst +/-. The year before that during the cup run he was a beast again though.

I'd take Draper back, but I don't want to lose any promising prospects just to make room for him on a 1 year deal.

Edited by hooon

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We've got too many guys in Grand Rapids who need NHL playing time to further their development. Nothing bad about Draper, he's been good this season, but his roster spot next year should go to Mursak or Emmerton.

Aussie_Wing likes this

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No.

Draper should retire. He's played better this season than I thought, but there's younger and bigger guys we need on our 4th line. Draper is not going to be around for much longer anyway.

He's been a staple of this organization longer than anyone but Lidstrom, however, it's time to move on.

haroldsnepsts and KrazyGangsta like this

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Sorry to be pedantic, but what I think what you meant is:

"What I believe would be best for the team in the long run is for Draper to retire."

Draper "should" retire when Draper feels like he has no more hockey at a top level left in him, or when he decides to become a lover of the life of leisure. If this season is any indication, now isn't when he "should" retire.

Personally, I'd welcome him back for another season or two if his play doesn't decline. Part of what has made this organization great is their dedication and loyalty to those that made this one of the most successful and respected franchises in all of sports. Illitch was clear from day one that he wanted to run his team like a family, and we've all enjoyed the fruits of this philosophy.

I understand why many of you say that it's time to give the kids a chance, but, from where I sit, that's Kris' decision to make (with some help from Ken), and I'll support whichever decision he makes. Giving him the respect to go out on his own terms is what separates our team from, say, Dallas giving Modano the boot.

Vladifan likes this

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another season or two? wow.

this organization's loyalty only goes so far. see: maltby.

Aussie_Wing likes this

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No.

Draper should retire. He's played better this season than I thought, but there's younger and bigger guys we need on our 4th line. Draper is not going to be around for much longer anyway.

He's been a staple of this organization longer than anyone but Lidstrom, however, it's time to move on.

Draper is playing well enough to get a contract next season on almost any team. He'll be cheap, experienced and a leader. He's skating well and can chip in on goals. If he wants to play for a reasonable contract, I think Holland has to re-sign him and let Miller go and rotate Musak, Draper and Emmerton.

He needs to retire a Red Wing. He looks like he's having too much fun and success to hang them up next season.

Uncle Danny and sleepwalker like this

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Draper is playing well enough to get a contract next season on almost any team. He'll be cheap, experienced and a leader. He's skating well and can chip in on goals. If he wants to play for a reasonable contract, I think Holland has to re-sign him and let Miller go and rotate Musak, Draper and Emmerton.

He needs to retire a Red Wing. He looks like he's having too much fun and success to hang them up next season.

Agreed - One year at 850k or less and he will be back, as long as he still wants to play... I think Miller is probably gone regardless of what happens with Draper, unless there is some unexpected trade which sees prospects such as Emmerton, Mursak, etc shipped away...

I've mapped out multiple situations and not a single one of them, does bringing Draper back, at a discounted rate, NOT make sense... he's a capable, smart NHL player, who makes smart plays and provides leadership, if you can have that at under 1m in a "filler" role, why wouldn't you?

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It's my understanding that Draper intends to retire with Osgood, seeing as they're best friends. So if Osgood is gone at the end of this season, there's a hot bet Draper is going with him.

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It's my understanding that Draper intends to retire with Osgood, seeing as they're best friends. So if Osgood is gone at the end of this season, there's a hot bet Draper is going with him.

Interesting -- where'd you hear this?

That would be a pretty neat gesture on either player's part.

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Interesting -- where'd you hear this?

I read it awhile back in an article. I'm gonna look around and see if I can pull it up again.

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Why can't it be Mursak/Emmerton over Eaves?

14 forwards next year, rotate the bottom five:

Dats-Z-Franz

Flip-Hud-Clear

Bert-Homer-Helm

Draper-Abby-Miller

Mursak-Emmerton

Seven d

Lids(please)-Kron

Raf-Ericsson

Stu-Kindl-Smith

No real cap issues with this team, yet still decent depth for forward injuries...

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Why can't it be Mursak/Emmerton over Eaves?

14 forwards next year, rotate the bottom five:

Dats-Z-Franz

Flip-Hud-Clear

Bert-Homer-Helm

Draper-Abby-Miller

Mursak-Emmerton

Seven d

Lids(please)-Kron

Raf-Ericsson

Stu-Kindl-Smith

No real cap issues with this team, yet still decent depth for forward injuries...

There is no reasonable case one can make against keeping Eaves and to even suggest it is ridiculous - he is the type of player you win cups with and not only does he NEED to be brought back, he needs to be brought back long term

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He has played a productive game this year. Clutch when called upon with face-offs, chipping in with some points, and pretty much hitting everything that moves when he is on the ice. No complaints in bringing him back from me.

Edited by HankthaTank

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I think Draper has had a great year so far. That being said if I have to give up any younger players (doesn't matter who it is) to keep him next year I say no way and force him to take a 2 way deal or retire like they did with Maltby this year. You have to have the flexibility to send the guy down and not getting stuck with the contract since he's over 35. You also can't continually let young players walk to take a chance on an older guy who might have a year or 2 left in him.

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There is no reasonable case one can make against keeping Eaves and to even suggest it is ridiculous - he is the type of player you win cups with and not only does he NEED to be brought back, he needs to be brought back long term

Last year, and even a couple of months ago, I'd have agreed with you. But he's a -7 since his NYE hat trick (16 games), is throwing only a hit a game and isn't blocking shots anymore either.

I like him as an energy guy at $750,000, but I'm not sure he's the right fit next year when he wants something more.

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