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Iconic NHL veteran and Stanley Cup champion admits 2018-19 will be his final season

What a career... one of the most feared players of his generation.

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In an one on one interview with NHL.com columnist Mike Zeisberger, veteran Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall admits that the 2018-19 season could be his final season in the NHL.

The 37 year old blue liner is entering the final season of a seven year contract that pays him an annual salary of $4.75 million and there have reportedly been no negotiations between the player and the team regarding a contract extension. Frankly, Kronwall seems to be reading the writing on the wall and he’s only being realistic about his future.

“If this happens to be the end of the road, I would be more than happy with the journey that I’ve had and more than thankful to the Ilitch family and (general manager) Kenny Holland for giving me the opportunity that I have for being able to be with the same team for my entire career,” said Kronwall during the NHL European Player Media Tour in Sweden this past weekend. “We’ll see what happens.”

Kronwall, who has played his entire NHL career with the Red Wings, has an impressive 80 goals and 405 points in 874 career NHL games. The rugged defender has established himself as an icon in Detroit due mostly to his thunderous bodychecks. In fact, the term “Kronwalled” has entered fan lexicon for big hits laid just inside the offensive blue line, usually made on an unsuspecting winger trying to break the puck out. Kronwall is notorious for catching wingers with their head down and laying them out with HUGE hits.

Check out this compilation video from 2015 including some of Kronwall’s biggest hits:

Of course, the biggest hit of his career may have been this MONSTER of a hit that Kronwall laid on Chicago Blackhawks winger Martin Havlat back in the 2008-09 season.

Check it out:

BOOM! That’s a big league WALLOP! Halva didn’t even see it coming. Remember kids, ALWAYS keep your head up… you never know Niklas Kronwall will line you up.

Kronwall won a Stanley Cup championship with the Red Wings back in 2008 and he's a member of The Triple Gold Club having won a Stanley Cup an IIHF World Championship gold medal and an Olympic gold medal. If this is indeed the end of the road for Kronwall, we thank him for dozens of highlight reel hits. He'll live on in YouTube fame...