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Kronwall at peace with decision to retire from Red Wings

Stanley Cup-winning defenseman who played 15 seasons in NHL to remain with Detroit as adviser to GM

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Niklas Kronwall said Wednesday his decision to retire from the NHL after 15 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings was made some time before he announced it on Tuesday.

"I think I've known for a while," the 38-year-old said. "A lot of it was just making sure that I didn't start training and change my mind. Looking back, I've probably known for a long time.

"There are so many things that go into this. This is what I know. It's been my profession for the past 21 years, but I've played hockey my whole life. That part … in a way it was a hard decision, but in other ways it really wasn't.

"I know I can [still play], but there's a time for things in life. It's time to see my kids more, because they are going to be starting a lot more activities, and I think this is the right time for the team."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Steve Yzerman on Niklas Kronwall. pic.twitter.com/Yl6elR9mSi

Kronwall, who had 432 points (83 goals, 349 assists) in 953 regular-season games and 47 points (five goals, 42 assists) in 109 Stanley Cup Playoff games, helped Detroit win the Stanley Cup in 2008.

He will remain with the Red Wings as an adviser to general manager Steve Yzerman, who was hired to replace Ken Holland on April 19.

The No. 29 pick in the 2000 NHL Draft said his new role has yet to be defined.

"Nothing yet in detail, but I'm very excited," Kronwall said. "I feel like I have a good perspective about things around the ice and I'm excited to learn a different side of the game. I'm excited to working with these guys again. … When I told Stevie, he asked what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to stay in hockey and he offered me a job.

Video: Niklas Kronwall Retires

"I don't expect to be doing much on the ice, but I told Doug Houda, our assistant coach that I have a great relationship with, that if he ever needs anything, I'll be around."

Kronwall said he relishes the opportunity to continue working with Detroit.

"I got to be part of something special in 2008 that I will never forget," he said. "To me, to be a part of this organization, it is an Original Six organization, but it is so much more than hockey. The people, the fans, there's so much around this team that I wanted to stay. I wanted to spend my whole career with this organization, with the Detroit Red Wings."

Kronwall said not qualifying for the playoffs the past three seasons took its toll after the Red Wings made 25 consecutive appearances in the playoffs, including winning the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008, but also said he believes the future offers great hope.

"We used to be a powerhouse and we were for so many years," he said. "I got to be a part of some of those years. It's been frustrating and there have been tough times, but it should be tough when you are losing. I do think there are so good pieces here and we're going to surprise people. There's good things in the pipeline as well.

"We love being in Michigan. Our kids were born here, their friends are here and their schools are here. And I've got a chance to work for keep working for the Detroit Red Wings. There's not going to be a hard cutoff. I'm excited to get started."

NHL.com independent correspondent Dave Hogg contributed to this report

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