Kronwall Retires To Front Office Position
The front office of the Detroit Red Wings has won a lot more on the ice than those who currently skate for the team.
The Wings added another name to the lengthy list of Stanley Cup-winning Red Wings in the hockey operations department on Tuesday. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall announced his retirement after 15 seasons and 953 NHL games, all with Detroit.
“They say every journey has to come to an end,” Kronwall said in a video posted on the Red Wings Twitter account. “Well, my journey as a player for the Detroit Red Wings ends here.”
Kronwall accepted a position as an advisor to Wings general manager Steve Yzerman.
“When one chapter ends, another one starts,” Kronwall said. “I'm very excited for my new role.”
Yzerman won three Stanley Cups as a Detroit player. Kronwall earned a Cup with the team in 2007-08.
Assistant director of player development Dan Cleary was also a member of Detroit’s 2007-08 Cup winner. Associate director of player personnel Jiri Fischer won the Cup with the 2001-02 Wings. Director of amateur scouting Kris Draper was a four-time Cup winner as a Wings player. Pro scout Kirk Maltby was a three-time Stanley Cup champion as a Detroit forward.
That’s 13 Cups won by hockey operations personnel as Red Wings players, compared to the two Cup wins that will take the ice this season. Center Valtteri Filppula and forward Darren Helm both were part of Detroit’s most recent Stanley Cup triumph in the spring of 2008.
Kronwall’s departure leaves six returnees who played a significant part of last season on the Detroit defense - Mike Green, Trevor Daley, Jonathan Ericsson, Danny DeKeyser, Filp Hronek and Dennis Cholowski all played at least 44 games along the Wings blueline in 2018-19. Madison Bowey saw action in 17 games after he was acquired from the Washington Capitals near the NHL trade deadline.
Six-year NHL veteran Patrik Nemeth, who’s played 250 NHL games over six seasons with the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche, was signed in the summer as an unrestricted free agent.
That totals eight defensemen, and likely means if they all stay healthy, someone in this group - most likely Cholowski - would begin the season in AHL Grand Rapids.
It’s A Family Affair
Yzerman hired his brother Chris to work as an amateur scout with the team, a position he’d previously held with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Forward Ryan Verbeek was recently signed to play for Detroit’s ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye. He’s the nephew of Red Wings assistant GM Pat Verbeek.
Verbeek, 23, played last season with Lyon in the French League.
Follow me on Twitter @asktheduffer