The greatest trade in team history only cost a buck

Kris Draper #33 of the Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

27 years ago, the Detroit Red Wings traded one dollar for Kris Draper.

Keeping up with trades in the NHL can be an exhausting task. There seem to be so many every season, as well as the off season’s, that it is nearly impossible to remember them all. 27 years ago, one of the most memorable trades in NHL history happened when Kris Draper get moved from the Winnipeg Jets to the Detroit Red Wings for $1.

On June 30, 1993, the Jets traded Draper to the Red Wings for future considerations, which was later determined to be one dollar. There was nothing else attached to it, that was the trade.

The Jets, who had drafted him with the 62nd overall pick in the 1989 draft, had little use for him at the time. He had only appeared in 20 regular season games and an additional two postseason games with them since being drafted, so the move appeared to be them looking to rid themselves of a contract.

Of course, the rest is history. Draper went on to become a fixture in the Red Wings lineup, and was soon known as the “One Dollar Man”. He went on to play over 1,000 games in a Red Wings uniform, mainly on the “Grind Line”, which consisted of himself, Darren McCarty, and either Joe Kocur or Kirt Maltby. This line was one of the best shutdown lines in the entire NHL and was a huge reason the team won four Stanley Cups (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008) during Draper’s tenure.

After winning his first Stanley Cup, Draper gave then Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch and his wife a gift shortly after – a dollar.

One can only imagine how humiliating this trade was at the time, but Draper was able to overcome that and carve out an incredible career for himself. On top of his four Stanley Cups, he was also able to win a Selke Trophy during the 2003-04 season. He also put up career highs that season with 24 goals and 40 points, despite playing in just 67 games.

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By the time he retired after the 2010-11 season, he had appeared in 1,157 regular season games, posting 161 goals and 364 points. On top of that, he also played in an incredible 222 playoff games, scoring 24 goals and adding 22 assists. Looking back at it, Draper is all laughs about the unusual trade.