Professional athletes always dream of being able to go out on top, and few are ever presented with the opportunity to make the plan reality. But on the heels of the Detroit Red Wings' 2008 Stanley Cup triumph, 15-year National Hockey League veteran and BCHL graduate Dallas Drake has done exactly that.
Drake retired from the NHL on Wednesday, capping a career in which he played 1009 games split between the Red Wings, Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes and St. Louis Blues, who he captained for two seasons.
He returned to Detroit last offseason after the Blues determined he wasn't bound to play a role in the team's rebuilding efforts. As it turns out, it was the best thing that could have happened to the native of Trail, BC. He re-joined the team that originally drafted him in 1989 and hoisted the Cup ten months later.
“I played a long time, I had a lot of fun,” Drake said. “After winning the Stanley Cup this year, there's not a better way for me to go out. Mentally, I think I still really want to play. I love the game as much as I ever have. But physically, my body just doesn't recover as well from the wear and tear.”
Drake totalled 177 goals and 300 assists during his NHL career.