ITS SUMMER WHERE’S THE NEWS?

What in the sweet holy hell? No articles in over 40 hours? What is this a hockey website during the middle of the offseason?

No, no, no. This simply won’t do at all.

TOPIC 1: KRIS DRAPER RETIRES

Tsn.ca reports that Kris Draper has announced his retirement after 22 years in the league. They also mention the fact that Draper bounced around between the AHL and the NHL during his time with Winnipeg in the late 1980s. Then the Detroit Red Wings claimed him off waivers.

Then Draper went on to play 17 years for the Red Wings recording 364 points in 1157 games in the NHL. He also made the playoffs each of the seasons he played with Detroit. Not too shabby for a Jets cast off.

When people wonder how come the Red Wings are the number one destination for players in the NHL you need look no further than the Kris Drapers of the world. The Red Wings invested a ton of responsibility in the man during his career and he rose to the occasion season after season.

Did the Red Wings fans run him out of town when he had a bad season in 99-00 when he recorded 5 goals and 7 assists? Certainly not.

They understand the stability of long term role players like Draper and former Oiler Kirk Maltby – also pictured winning the Stanley Cup – and also a cast off of our beloved Edmonton Oilers.

And when Draper doubled his points total the following year recording 8 goals and 17 assists – did Wings fans collectively decide he was going to continue to double his output every year? No, they know that unrealistic expectations are bad for both the player and those of us who follow the team 24/7/365.

Kris Draper was a sick role player for the Red Wings for nearly two decades. He won 4 Cups in the process and the Selke Trophy back in 2004. He was a Red Wing through and through though he only cracked the 40 point barrier once in his NHL career – recording exactly 40 points in the 03-04 season.

Watch the Wings hire him back in some capacity to indoctrinate another generation of Red Wings players for the next 20 years. Despite the fact that Detroit has essentially become the set from Mad Max, they continue to build a perennial top tier team and every NHL player (and their wives) would play there.

Think about that the next time we think that malcontent NHL players don’t like Edmonton because of the shopping. Or think about that the next time you want to run a guy out of town for not meeting inflated expectations. These guys can bounce back from the waiver wire to play another 17 years in the league and win 4 Cups in the process.

Note: If you are bored on a rainy day, we highly recommend clicking on the link above and tell us your thoughts of the photo essay "Detroit in Ruins." It looks like it is the end of the world.

TOPIC #2: SMYTTY OMEN

Our main man Yawto emailed deep from behind enemy lines in Calgary with the following eerie tale involving Ryan Smyth:

"My roommate was supposed to give me grocery money today and is not a follower of the Nation. When we talked he said he had $150 for me. When we met up he gave me a hand full of cash, told me he had to get gas so there was a little less. When I counted the money, Lo and behold, $94.

Add this to the fact my daughter was born February 21st, 2007 (Smyth’s birthday) and that I live in Calgary and I believe I will be able to proudly strut my Smyth colors down the Red Mile and remind those flamers he would only come to Calgary in copper and blue."

Sweet mercy. How does a roommate promise you $150 clams, show up with 94 beans and not get shot out of his shoes? That wouldn’t play in Wanye Manor, where the roommates pay their bills in cash weekly or they aren’t allowed in the barred doors at the entry way.

Sweet omen though. As always if you have a Ryan Smyth related bunch of spookiness hit us up at wanyegretz@gmail.com

  • Puritania

    don’t mean to crush everyones hype on the omen stuff but IF this actually happened by chance, why on earth did your friend receive 14 dollars in change from buying gas?

  • Puritania

    I was in Detroit for a playoff game in 2009 (Round 2 Game 7 against Anaheim), and wandering around downtown afterward was spooky. You’re surrounded by massive buildings but the streets are EMPTY! So empty it felt dangerous. We talked to a few people, and all of them ended up being from Windsor. We were asking about good places to check out, all the advice we got was not to walk past a certain neon sign because past that sign is “the end of the world.”

  • Wax Man Riley

    I’ve lived North, South, downtown… even in .. (shudder) Calgary for a while.

    There is definitely a different feel in each place. The only place that scares me is Southwest. All of those cookie-cutters and me-me Bourgeoisie give me the creeps.

  • Gerald R. Ford

    Playing for a Detroit team is not the same thing as living IN Detroit. Grosse Pointe and Bloomfield Hills are ridiculously affluent, Mad Max-free, communities that completely shelter the wealthy from the conditions of urban Detroit. There is zero need for a player, their wives, or their kids to ever set foot in Detroit, save for gameday. The inner city is one thing, but the surrounding communities are totally different.

    Winning will help the Oilers attract players, as it certainly has the Red Wings. But only to a limited degree. The Detroit AREA will still be more attractive to a lot of players (and their wives) than Edmonton. They can live in beautiful, gated communities that negate the dangerous conditions of the city, the winters are milder, and the centrality of the location makes for better travel for the players, and overall easier mobility for everyone. They don’t really sacrifice much, if anything, playing there.