Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kris Draper - Detroit community leader

So I got a little behind and will now be posting my responses to this week and last week's topic...

1. Explain your favourite community contributing team member and why he rocks.

Since Darren McCarty no longer plays for the Detroit Red Wings, his pal Kris Draper has to be my favorite community contributing team member. I interviewed him for about half an hour back in November of 2003. I liked to credit myself for giving him a spark in his offense. He won Selke that year and it all started in the first game after my interview. And when I saw him at a restaurant once (I didn't say anything to him though), he scored two goals that night. Anyways, here was an excerpt from that interview about community service:

Christy: So you brought the Stanley Cup to Children’s Hospital after the win in 2002. Why did you decide to bring in there over anywhere else?

Draper: “Obviously, I’ve been very fortunately not only healthy as a person but as a professional athlete as well. And to give the opportunity to kids who are sick or wouldn’t be able to come out see the Stanley Cup in public because of their illness, it was an opportunity that came and they asked me if I wanted to bring the Stanley Cup to Children’s Hospital. And for me to be able to do something like that, it was easy. I was like ‘Absolutely, no matter what day or time or how long I have to be there for. So I went there and I guess I spent a couple of hours with kids who were less fortunate than I was. And just to see the expressions that these kids had, and not only the kids, but also the kids’ parents because the parents go through this everyday. You know as we wake up in the morning, while you guys go to school and I go play hockey; these parents go to the hospital everyday to visit their kids. To have an opportunity like this and to give it back to the community and to the children, it was tough there. Being as fortunate as I am and to go in there and see all the sicknesses and illnesses and be able to put a smile on a kid’s face and if you have the opportunity to make kids forget about their illnesses for even just 10 minutes; you know you’ve done something good. It’s very rewarding to go in there and to do that. Like the Stanley Cup was bigger than some of the kids, it was pretty neat. And they saw it and couldn’t believe how big it was and so it was pretty good. We put a couple of not newborn but like 1-year-old kids in the Cup. The parents asked ‘if my son or daughter could sit in the Stanley Cup’ and I would hold the kids and the parents would take pictures. It was a special day.”
Ok, that was kind of long but it says pretty much all that needs to be said about why Kris Draper is the No. 1 community guy at the Wings. Oh, and this story doesn't hurt either [he helped a dying girl and her single dad].

2. Take a photo (or draw with your mouse) the biggest dedication to something hockey related you have/own.

I can't decide which autographed picture I like better so I'll post them both year but excuse the crappiness of the glare and sucky camera. My room as a whole is very wonderful with over $1000 worth of signed memorabilia. :) But my two favorites are the ones hanging over my bed - a signed Steve Yzerman photograph and a signed Swedish 5 photograph. All 5 Detroit Red Wings Swedes who won the 2006 Gold Medal signed this lovely image.

3. Which player has impressed you so far? And which player has disappointed you (not restricted to your team only).

Due to my cable situation in the dorm, I can only watch the Wings games (I can't even watch the ones on Versus) so my answers will be Wings players only.

Impressed the most- Well, the Wings haven't been playing too great to start the season so I really haven't been impressed my much. I guess Jason Williams has impressed me the most because he was awful in the 2006 playoffs and he has 5 points so far leading all forwards on the team (defensemen Lidstrom and Schneider have 7 and 6 points respectively).

Disappointed the most- Kirk Maltby. His role for the team has really become limited to the penalty kill. The Wings penalty kill percentage is awful - 75.5% placing them 28th in the NHL. Plus, Maltby is the only Red Wings player with negative +/- rating.

1 comment:

Jordi said...

Oh god the story. I'm a big softie and cried over it. Not to mention I'm just charmed by people who just genuinely enjoy helping people even without the fame (ie. Charity events or they don't do anything without the media)