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ChristopherReevesLegs

There Will Be Blood - Kris Draper

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Player's Tribune Article By Kris

Quote

I wish this story could have Smell-O-Vision, because if you could only smell a vanilla Ensure right now, you’d know how miserable I really was. 

When jaw was wired shut

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So one night I’m playing for the Adirondack Red Wings in the AHL, and I score a hat trick. I come out of the locker room after the game, and there’s Scotty with a few Red Wings scouts. I had no idea they were in the building.

I’m thinking, Finally, they saw the hat trick. Now they know what I can do. Now I’ll get my chance.

The first thing Scotty says to me is, “Do you know how many face-offs you won tonight?”

Face-offs were just starting to be kept as an official stat, especially in the AHL.

So I said, “No, sir, I’m not really sure.” 

Scotty said, “You won 19 of 21. Can you do that in the National Hockey League?”

Goes on to say that in Scotty's system he had to grind if he wanted to stay with the Wings.

Quote

I was getting interviewed by a reporter from a San Jose newspaper. After he finished up, he turned to me and said, “Hey, not bad for a kid who was traded for a dollar, huh?”

And he started to walk away.

I said, “Excuse me … what did you just say?”

He said, “Yeah, a dollar. Winnipeg traded you for a buck. Now you’re playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Pretty good … Wait, you don’t know the story?”

I turned and looked at our public relations guy, totally confused.

He said, “Uh, yeah, Kris. It’s true.”

I’m like, “What? I was traded for future considerations.”

He says, “Yeah, well, you know, when Scotty called you up from the AHL, they still hadn’t worked out the considerations, officially. So Bryan Murray called Mike Smith and … well … you were traded for cash considerations.”

“A buck?”

“A buck.”

Whenever somebody tells me I was traded for a bag of pucks, I have to politely correct them — because a bag of pucks would’ve been a lot more expensive. But I loved it, because the whole story just added to my underdog mentality.

The $1 dollar man

Quote

Finally, after nine goals, Roy had had enough and just pulled himself. Later on, it came out in the press that when Roy got back to the bench, he turned to the president of the Canadiens and said, “This is my last game in Montreal.”

Roy was traded to the Avalanche a few days later. That was the moment when the whole rivalry between us and Colorado got its spark. He never forgot what we did to him at the Forum. From that moment on, he took it to another level when he played us.

I don't usually think of our Roy/Colorado rivalry starting at the Forum, but it makes sense

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The people of Detroit were in my corner every single day of my recovery. I mean, the response from fans was so overwhelming that I had to get two hospital rooms: One for me, and one to store all the flowers, cards, and stuffed animals that people sent to me.

There was so much that I couldn’t take it all home. I donated all the stuffed animals to the pediatric ward.

:clap:

Quote

To be 100% honest, I rarely thought of getting revenge on Lemieux. It wasn’t about that. Unfortunately, Detroit did not feel the same way. It was like the entire city took the hit personally. 

Sounds about right

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As I was leaving the hospital, my doctor gave me a pair of pliers.

“Keep these on you at all times,” he said. “Whenever you leave the house. Whenever you go to bed.”

I couldn’t speak. I just shook my head, confused.

“If you get sick and have to throw up, you’re going to have to cut the wires to keep from choking.

:punk:
 

Quote

In the middle of all this pandemonium, Marc Crawford, the Avs coach, is yelling at me, “You started all this, Draper!”

And then Scotty Bowman starts yelling at Crawford, “Don’t talk to my players! Don’t you ever talk to my players!”

Crawford is a moron

 

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I think it's safe to say that the rivalries of years past (can also add Edmonton/Calgary from the 80's along with the Nordiques/Canadiens to this list) will not be replicated in todays game.

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Love it.

I remember The Game. I remember that low feeling of futility, I remember the madness, I remember the improbable late comeback, and I remember the OT winner.

I was ten years old. It was one of the greatest, most cathartic moments of my young life -- and I wasn't even a resident of Detroit or Michigan (and I never have been, for what it's worth).

God. That whole rivalry was really something else. People say that about so many pro sports rivalries, but this one really was one of the modern greats, even if it only lasted for a few years. I miss it!

Edited by Dabura

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Just now, Dabura said:

Love it.

I remember The Game. I remember that low feeling of futility, I remember the madness, I remember the improbable late comeback, and I remember the OT winner.

I was ten years old. It was one of the greatest, most cathartic moments of my young life -- and I wasn't even a resident of Detroit or Michigan (and I never have been, for what it's worth).

God. That whole rivalry was really something else. People say that about so many pro sports rivalries, but this this one really was one of the modern greats, even if it only lasted for a few years. I miss it!

I'll never forget that day.

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The funny thing is that the NHL basically told the Wings to take care of Lemieux themselves because they weren't going to suspend him.  If they had, or if Lemieux had appologized instead of telling Draper that he made Draper a household name so he should thank him, McCarty probably never jumps Lemieux.

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3 hours ago, F.Michael said:

I think it's safe to say that the rivalries of years past (can also add Edmonton/Calgary from the 80's along with the Nordiques/Canadiens to this list) will not be replicated in todays game.

Detroit/Colorado was pretty crazy and I agree nothing will likely get to that level, but I would say the closest in modern time was Philly/Pit which was intense in its own right.

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Just now, ChristopherReevesLegs said:

Did your doctor give you pliers to cut your mouth open too? Cause that's METAL AF 

No, actually I was wired and rubber-banded shut so I think I could have cut the bands if I had to.  I had no problem talking (well what woman doesn't) and sucked soup/baby oatmeal through a straw.  My boyfriend at the time was so nice to bring Burger King home the first day I came home from the hospital....

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1 minute ago, ChristopherReevesLegs said:

Claude was injured and didn't play those games

I see.  I'm guessing Crawford screaming at Draper had to do with Draper not challenging Lemieux to a fight.  Lemieux said during a round table interview that he did with McCarty that he offered Draper a chance to fight him to get revenge.  Kind of like Malkin and Wheeler last week.  

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If March 26th isn't a holiday to you, you aren't a Red Wings fan. #TurtleDay #SweetRevenge

20 minutes ago, DickieDunn said:

Yeah, LePuke wanted to fight a guy who didn't fight much. Instead McCarty KOed the POS with the first shot then kept pounding on him.

Sent from my LGLS676 using Tapatalk
 

My favorite part of the fight besides Mac dropping him with the first punch was him dragging him to the bench and then kneeing him in the face repeatedly. That was when hockey was hockey. They let him continue to play the game and be the OT hero. Nowadays it would have probably been a 10 game suspension. 

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6 hours ago, Wheelchairsuperhero said:

This is great, thanks for taking the time to set up all those quotes. I was only 8 or 9 when all of this was going on, but I can still remember watching it all on TV with my Dad and Brothers. Definitely some great memories.

Same but I'm a 90 so slightly younger, maybe.. but to all of my friends and I, that rivalry surrounds our first memories of hockey. It's what made me want to play hockey in the first place and I haven't stopped since. 

Amazing article, thanks for sharing. I read it like three times over. 

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Damn Onion Cutting Ninjas... :ph34r:

35 minutes ago, Datsyukian-Deke said:

If March 26th isn't a holiday to you, you aren't a Red Wings fan. #TurtleDay #SweetRevenge

My favorite part of the fight besides Mac dropping him with the first punch was him dragging him to the bench and then kneeing him in the face repeatedly. That was when hockey was hockey. They let him continue to play the game and be the OT hero. Nowadays it would have probably been a 10 game suspension. 

10 to life...

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57 minutes ago, amato said:

Same but I'm a 90 so slightly younger, maybe.. but to all of my friends and I, that rivalry surrounds our first memories of hockey. It's what made me want to play hockey in the first place and I haven't stopped since. 

Amazing article, thanks for sharing. I read it like three times over. 

I was born in late 89, so I'm right there with you.

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14 hours ago, DickieDunn said:

Yeah, LePuke wanted to fight a guy who didn't fight much. Instead McCarty KOed the POS with the first shot then kept pounding on him.

Sent from my LGLS676 using Tapatalk
 

Yeah, that was Lemieux's M.O.  I remember him constantly provoking and picking on Kozlov.... but when someone his size like Bob Rouse stepped in front of him, Claude suddenly lost interest in fighting.

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45 minutes ago, barabbas16 said:

Yeah, that was Lemieux's M.O.  I remember him constantly provoking and picking on Kozlov.... but when someone his size like Bob Rouse stepped in front of him, Claude suddenly lost interest in fighting.

And to me, that's the difference between an enforcer and an agitator. Agitators start shenanigans. Enforcers end them. (not saying Bob was an enforcer) 

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