Originally written on Kukla's Korner  |  Last updated 11/8/14

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 9: Kris Draper #33 of the Detroit Red Wings warms up against the Pittsburgh Penguins before Game Six of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Mellon Arena on June 9, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by: Harry How/Getty Images)
As noted yesterday evening, Red Wings executive Kris Draper both threw out the first pitch at Wednesday’s Great Lakes Loons game and spoke to the Saginaw News’s Erica Perdue about his experiences as a member of the front office and the “state of the Wings,” and he continued both conversations with the Midland Daily News’s Brittney Lohmiller: “I don’t think anyone is going to sugar coat it when we lost Nicklas Lidstrom,” Draper said. “It was a huge loss. It’s a big blow to the team, but I truly believe that Niklas Kronwall is going to step up and evolve as one of the top defensemen in the game. I think Brendan Smith is ready to get an opportunity and now is his time. Kyle Quincey, who we just got in a trade and signed, we got him on a two-year deal. He played so well in Colorado and Los Angeles and that’s what we expect from him. Jonathan Ericsson, a big, strong defenseman, he was always kind of knocking on the door to be the top four defenseman, but our top four was so good, but he...
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