Niklas Kronwall retires from hockey after 15 seasons with Red Wings

Kronwall to join Yzerman's staff

Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

DETROIT - Defenseman Niklas Kronwall has announced his retirement from hockey.

Kronwall, 38, was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings at 29th overall in 2000. He helped lead the team to two Stanely Cup finals in 2008 and 2009, winning the championship in 2008.

In 953 career NHL games, all played with Detroit, Kronwall scored 83 goals and 349 assists. He played 109 playoff games with the Red Wings (5 goals, 42 assists).

The veteran defenseman has been plagued by injuries in his final seasons, but he still played 79 games for the Red Wings both this past season and the season before. He became an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

The Red Wings said Kronwall will join GM Steve Yzerman's staff as an advisor.

READ: An updated look at possible 2019-20 Red Wings lineup

Kronwall is a native of Stockholm, Sweden. His pro hockey career began with Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Elite League. Although he was drafted by Detroit in 2000, he did not join the Red Wings until the 2003-04 season. 

Early in his career he was referred to as "Nick Jr." while playing alongside the legendary Swedish defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. With the two Swedes anchoring the defense the Red Wings were perennial Cup contenders between 2006-2012. Kronwall made a name for himself as a smart, puck-moving defenseman who could dish out heavy hits. His patented hip check at the blue line earned the moniker "Kronwalled"

He won an Olympic Gold medal with Sweden at the 2006 games in Turin. He also won the World Championships gold that year. When he raised the Stanley Cup in 2008 he became a member of the Triple Gold Club, one of only 29 players in the world to win an Olympic Games gold medal, a World Championship gold medal, and the Stanley Cup.

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