Niklas Kronwall may be done playing hockey, but he won’t be stepping away from the Detroit Red Wings organization.
After taking the offseason to mull over his NHL future, the blueliner officially retired on Tuesday, and will take a front-office advisor role under general manager Steve Yzerman.
Kronwall announced his decision in an emotional video posted on the club’s Twitter account and thanked his family, the organization and its fans for his time with the Red Wings.
As one chapter ends, another begins.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) September 3, 2019
Thank you, Nik. pic.twitter.com/G2vNzBMDAx
“I was a 22-year-old kid when I came over from Sweden. Now at 38, I have my own family here. Detroit has become home for us,” Kronwall said.
“There have been some ups and some downs during my time here. Wearing the winged wheel on my chest was and always will be a huge honor. When one chapter ends, another begins.”
Yzerman reportedly gave the 38-year-old blueliner the summer to decide on his future with the squad, as Kronwall was undecided and his ailing body slowly pulled him one way, but the allure of reaching the elusive 1,000 game mark — he’s currently just 47 contests shy — pulling him the other.
The intelligent-yet-reckless physical style of play that highlighted Kronwall’s career also played at least some role in ending it, as a chronic left knee injury has plagued the rearguard for the better part of the last two seasons.
He exits the league with 83 goals, 432 points and well over 1,000 hits in 953 regular season games, all with Detroit. He also posted 47 points over 109 postseason games including 15 in 22 contests when the Wings captured the Cup in 2008.
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