Hey, kids, guess what? Hockey's almost here. That means it's time for me to get back into this whole blogging thing that I've neglected during the off-season. Since I lack the creativity to come up with a new gimmick, I decided to continue the Player Profiles series I did last year leading up to the season. I'll be taking a look at a different player (almost) every day between now and when hockey starts. By my count, there are 24 days until the Wings open the regular season. Get excited. Today's subject:
2009-2010 Regular Season: 81 GP, 7-15-22, +/- -2, 28 PIM
2010 Playoffs: 12 GP, 0-0-0, +/- 0, 16 PIM
Season Highlight: He scored his 150th career goal.
Season Lowlight: Inspiring the Commune slang “donut goalies” by continuously shooting directly into opposing goalies' stomachs.
Drapes looked pretty good on the line with Helm and Eaves last season. It seemed like being paired with a couple of speedy youngsters reguvinated him a little. The line provided some speedy checking combined with a frustrating inability to convert offensive chances.
This is almost certainly going to be Draper's swan song. His contract ends after this season, and Helm and Justin Abdelkader have established themselves as the future of the Grind Line. There just won't be cap or roster space for Draper beyond this season. He's still a valuable penalty killer and provides essential locker room leadership, but this is looking like the year he finally rides off into the sunset.
What he needs to do to make me smile: Solid defensive play.