Disappointing, but expected news today: Kris Draper’s calling it a career tomorrow after being forced out of a spot with the Wings by youth.
Put bluntly, this sucks. Draper is not what he once was, but as the Wings get less finesse-reliant on the backend and more angled toward speed and physicality on the front-end, I’m wondering if we aren’t going to regret letting him go while holding on to a player that increasingly doesn’t look like he fits on this team: Jiri Hudler. As big a soft-spot as I have for Huds, I would gladly take a two-pick trade in exchange for him and keep Draper. He’d likely be a better fit elsewhere and shipping him out would relieve us of some of his drag.
But, unfortunately, we’re keeping Hudler and losing a hard-core leader of men. As well as a monster playoff beard.
The guys who are more directly being tapped to step into Draper’s role have big shoes to fill.