McCarty recalled numerous fires that had to be extinguished due to Draper and Maltby.
“You’d hop into a pile and there’d be pushing and shoving. I’d come in and grab somebody or step in the way and the guy would say, ‘I’m going to (bleeping) kill Draper, Maltby is such a (expletive),’ ” McCarty said. “I’d say, ‘I can’t agree with you more, but you’re not going to touch them now. You got to deal with me.’
“Joey was always the best because he’d come in and grab three at the same time like little kids and say, ‘What are you guys doing?’
“It made us that much tougher to play against.”
Double . Nice little quote to make the staunch enforcer crowd sigh a little bit.
What I will remember most about Draper is that he was essentially the spokesman and morale officer for the Red Wings for most of his 17 seasons in Detroit. Steve Yzerman was captain for most of Draper’s tenure, but Yzerman didn’t enjoy talking to the media every day about every issue that affected the team or the NHL. Draper usually filled that role in Detroit. When the team was going well, Draper was there to praise teammates. When the team was going poorly, Draper made himself available to explain what went wrong and how the team was going to turn around. He was the player who spread the message of composure that was probably directed at his teammates, as well as the fans and media. Draper always seemed to know what to say.