Like Chris Osgood, Kris Draper wants to play another season in the NHL, but he is going to be a free agent this offseason. While the Red Wings have already indicated they want some free agents back, general manager Ken Holland has been noncommittal when asked about what will happen with Osgood and Draper.
While Osgood may only have to worry about somebody like Joey MacDonald taking his spot, Draper has had to compete with many young forwards in the last couple years, and even more young guys are expected to challenge for spots on the roster next season. The Red Wings' forward depth is solid, which could leave Draper on the outside looking in. The 40-year-old wants to play with the Red Wings for one more season, but there's no telling if the Red Wings will want him back or not.
In order to prove to Holland that he is deserving of a spot on next season's team, Draper has been busy working out, and on Wednesday he worked out with Detroit Lions players at Detroit Country Day. Lions players have been holding player-organized workouts because the NFL is in lockout mode, and the trainer that runs them also works with Draper.
Draper impressed the Lions players at the workout and even caught a pass from Matthew Stafford. Draper said he wished the media wouldn't have been kicked out of the session and that Holland would have been there to see him.
"If Kenny (Holland, Red Wings general manager) could've seen me working out, he would have made a decision right away," Draper said. "They (the Lions) wanted you guys to go away, but I wanted you to stay. I want Kenny to see exactly what I was doing."
Draper likely will find out what Holland's plans are for him in the next seven to 10 days. If he is offered a one-way deal, Draper will re-sign with the team and play one more season. If he is offered a two-way deal (like Kirk Maltby last year before he retired) or isn't offered one at all, Draper will retire and join the Red Wings' front office.
Since he still feels he can play, Draper was asked about signing with another team if the Red Wings don't offer him a contract. While he didn't completely say no to the idea, Draper seemed pretty set that he will play for the Red Wings next season or simply retire. At this point his future, like Osgood's, will likely come down to whether or not Holland decides to offer a contract for next season.