<
>

Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby retires

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby officially announced his retirement at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

"Being drafted in 1992 I was just happy to be around and just happy to play hockey, never did I think I would be around 18 years and win four Stanley Cups," Maltby said. "I feel truly privileged."

Maltby will join the Red Wings' organization as a scout.

Maltby had 128 goals and 132 assists in 1,072 career regular-season NHL games in 16 seasons in Edmonton and Detroit. But last season, he had just four goals and had two assists in 52 games.

During his heyday, Maltby, 37, was one of the NHL's top checking forwards and a member of the famed Grind Line in Detroit, along with Kris Draper and Darren McCarty.

Maltby, a four-time Stanley Cup champion, cleared waivers last week after not making the Red Wings out of camp. He contemplated his playing future this past weekend.

"I knew what the situation was from talking to Kenny [Detroit vice president and general manager Ken Holland] a bunch of times over the summer," he said.

Maltby's contract expired at the end of last season and he signed a two-way contract with the opportunity to make the team. He played well in exhibitions but not well enough to earn a spot in a deep forward group. Maltby decided not to join Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League.

"Maybe his greatest gift to us all this time has been absolutely no ego," Red Wings' coach Mike Babcock said. "He's come every day whether he played six minutes, 12 minutes or 18 minutes or whatever he did. He's just a professional and did it right."

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.