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Notebook: Drake reminded of his longevity

Wings' forward reaches 1,000; Chelios returns, Holmstrom remains out

Tuesday, 03.11.2008 / 2:05 PM ET / News
By Kevin Fitzhenry  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Notebook: Drake reminded of his longevity
Drake has added grit and some punch since returning to Hockeytown last July. Here he mixes it up with Blackhawks forward Adam Burish earlier in the season.
DETROIT – The 1,000-game milestone has perhaps lost some of its luster over the years with 30 franchise clubs and over 700 players currently in the NHL. Not since the days of the Original Six has playing 1,000 games been considered a major accomplishment.

But that won’t tarnish the achievement for one Red Wings’ player tonight.

“It just means you’ve been in the league a long time,” said right wing Dallas Drake, who will play in his 1,000th career game when the Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at Joe Louis Arena.
 
“Not a lot of guys get the opportunity to play as long as I have,” Drake said. “Early on in your career you’re just trying to stay in the league as long as you can. Then, big picture is you want to win the Stanley Cup.”

Only two other current Red Wings -- defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom (1,239) and Chris Chelios (1605) -- have played more games. Left wing Kirk Matlby (931) and center Chris Draper (945) could possibly reach the milestone as early as next season.
  
Drake, who was drafted by the Red Wings in the sixth round of the 1989 draft, played only 119 games in Detroit before being traded to the Winnipeg Jets. He played in St. Louis for six seasons before singing with Detroit as a free agent last July.
 
“It’s a hug accomplishment,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s a great edition to our hockey club because of the integrity, commitment, character, and how hard he plays the game. When you bring in good people it’s contagious. He has lot a fun with the game; he’s here first thing in the morning and he wants to play. It’s a real honor to have him here.”

During tonight’s game, many of Drake’s former teammates will congratulate him via taped messages on the JLA Jumbotron over center ice.

Drake said he certainly appreciates the thoughts of his teammates.

“You ask any player and that’s what they miss the most about the game: is the camaraderie of the dressing room,” he said. “No matter what happens, you can always have a good time with the guys.”
  
Drake is currently one assist away from 300, yet another milestone he can accomplish tonight against Chicago. He also played in career game No. 300 against the Blackhawks on March 20, 1997.

INJURY REPORT: Tomas Holmstrom will miss his second straight game with a sore groin. Holmstrom, who has not skated since Friday had an MRI and ultrasound; both producing negative results.
He said he hopes to begin skating by the end of the week.
 
Chelios will be back in the lineup tonight. Chelios has missed six games with a right leg injury.

HOW SWEDE IT IS: Fans attending tonight’s game will receive a treat: a free poster featuring Detroit’s “Swedish Eight.” (Jonathan Ericsson, Andreas Lilja, Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson and Johan Franzen.)
 
The players seemed to enjoy gathering for the photo shoot, which occurred at Joe Louis Arena last week.

“It was fun,” Holmstrom said, “We don’t get a lot of opportunity to do that kind of stuff.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80