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Maltby is comfortable with decision

After 14 seasons, he retires as Wing, accepts scouting role

Tuesday, 10.12.2010 / 7:37 PM ET / News
By Michelle Crechiolo  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Maltby is comfortable with decision
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DETROIT – Never at a loss for words, Kirk Maltby was uncharacteristically speechless and held back tears as he announced his retirement on Tuesday.

Maltby, who will remain with the organization as a pro scout, played 14 seasons in Detroit after joining the team in March 1996.

In addition to winning four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings, he is tied with Sergei Fedorov for seventh on the franchise’s all-time games-played list with 908. He also played in 169 playoff games.

“Being drafted in 1992, I was just kind of happy to be around and happy playing hockey,” Maltby said. “I never would have thought that 18 years later, I’d be part of four Stanley Cups and have played over a thousand games. I feel truly privileged for what my career has brought me.

“I came here in 1996 and wasn’t sure where I belonged in this organization. It was a team at that particular time that was breaking records for wins and points and whatnot. And now, I have roots here, this is my home, this is where my kids are going to have their home ... I’m very honored.”

Maltby, whom Wings general manager Ken Holland called “an unbelievable human being,” made sure he thanked everyone who supported him throughout his career, to the family he lived with while playing junior hockey to the Wings’ equipment managers. He jokingly included the Edmonton Oilers, who drafted him No. 65 overall in 1992, for trading him to Detroit.

In a testament to Maltby as a person and a teammate, every current Wings player was at the press conference in the media center at Joe Louis Arena prior to Tuesday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. Maltby gave a special thanks to teammates Kris Draper, Chris Osgood, Tomas Holmstrom and Nicklas Lidstrom, saying, “I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of guys to go to war with every day, year in and year out.”

Maltby made a career out of being a role player and a fan favorite as a member of the famed Grind Line with Draper and Darren McCarty.

“When you’re going to win come playoff time, you need skill, you need character, but you also need players who are going to go to the trenches and do the dirty work,” Holland said. “And certainly the Grind Line and Kirk did the dirty work for us.”

Maltby accepted, and even embraced his position, saying, “I kind of knew what my role was. Penalty-killing, more of a defensive force. On our line, we were able to contribute a little bit on the offensive side, which I think to be successful and win Stanley Cups, you need that little bit of contribution from your third and fourth lines. I was a pain in the ass, but I didn’t mind giving those shots. I know I took my share of shots too, and I didn’t mind that part.”

Despite fighting back his emotions, Maltby said the decision to hang up his skates was easier than it seemed.

“It was an easier decision, although it may not have seemed like it today when I was talking,” he said. “But I’m very comfortable with it, I wanted to watch my kids grow up. It’s tough, I’m going to miss the game, I’m going to miss being around the guys. I think that’s going to be the hardest.”

While he’ll miss the routine of being at the rink and hanging with his teammates, Maltby is excited to contribute to the organization from the front office and spend more time with his family.

“I look forward to my future starting as a scout with the Wings and spending time with my family and watching my children grow,” he said.

Maltby finishes his NHL career with 128 goals, 132 assists, and 260 points in 1,072 games-played, along with 867 penalty-minutes.



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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